My dad lost his fight with COPD
Matt is running the London Marathon this year for his dad. Read his story.
My dad was my hero. He taught me everything I know today. Treat people with respect, love and loyalty, in the hope that people will treat you in the same manner.
When my dad was 15, he was given a cigarette. Unfortunately, this began a life-long, stranglehold of an addiction. An addiction which ultimately led to his death. He died on 22 September 2017.
Dad was diagnosed with emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Emphysema is called an obstructive lung disease because of the destruction of lung tissue around smaller airways, meaning these airways are unable to hold their shape properly when you exhale. This makes it harder to transfer oxygen into the blood, and taking carbon dioxide out of the blood.
When dad was diagnosed with COPD, I'd never heard of it. And due to the fear of the unknown, I didn't look into its effects until much later. Despite warnings from his doctors and several attempts to quit smoking, dad was unable to kick the habit.
Dad's gradual decline was sad to see; the family suffered by being made to feel helpless as his health deteriorated. His health declined at a far faster rate over his last 12 months, and he was hospitalised several times. In June he contracted pneumonia which he was unable to fight off. He was admitted to palliative care. After a long and brave fight, we said goodbye to our dad.
While dad was in palliative care, I promised myself I would do something to help raise funds and awareness of lung disease. That's why I'm running the London Marathon this year.
I hope that by raising awareness I'll be able to help improve the diagnosis of COPD and make is easier for people to quit smoking. I want to help researchers find a treatment to help people living with COPD.
COPD causes around 29,000 deaths a year in the UK. It's estimated that around 1.2 million people are living with diagnosed COPD but many don't even know they have it.
We all feel short of breath from time to time - that’s healthy and normal. But sometimes it can be a sign of something more serious. Take our quick and easy breath test to get personalised advice on how to look after your lungs.