Struggling for Every Breath
Michael’s daughter, Sara remembers him spending hours teaching her to boogie board at the Jersey Shore. He loved the beach, the ocean, just being there with his family, but a serious lung disease made it increasingly difficult for him to breathe. Michael first got sick when Sara was five and by the time she was in 8th grade, his health was declining rapidly. He needed oxygen to breathe. He had to stop working. Even simple activities had become impossible.
“I definitely worried about losing him,” says Sara. “I wanted to do something to help him because he was always there to help me. I was afraid he wouldn’t be there to see me graduate from high school.”
Michael was suffering from a condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis which gradually destroys the lung’s ability to contract and expand. His local pulmonologists in Bethlehem said there was nothing more they could do for him. They referred him to the Temple Lung Center.