David Manning worked for many years in environments where smoking was not only permitted, it was almost expected.
He quit smoking more than 20 years ago, but for Manning, the damage was already done. He was diagnosed with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Experts say living with the disease is like trying to breathe through a straw.
According to the COPD Foundation, about 15 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, and another 15 million are suffering from undiagnosed COPD. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
He Made a Commitment to Better Health
The statistics are intimidating, but Manning has been managing his COPD through Baystate's nationally-recognized Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program under the direction of pulmonologist Dr. Victor Pinto-Plata.
“Two years ago I ended up in Redstone Rehab [in East Longmeadow] and they suggested I come here [to Baystate’s program] when I got out. I’ve been coming here ever since,” Manning said.
Experts Provide a Safety Net
Manning works out several times a week at Baystate’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation gym in Springfield.
He feels safer there because it is staffed with rehabilitation and medical experts. “I have somebody here to keep an eye on me if my lungs do go south,” he said.
He adds, “I enjoy the people. They are very friendly—we do a lot of kidding around. I enjoy coming here, even though it’s a jaunt from Wilbraham.”
He Does Everything He Wants to Do
According to Donna Hawk, a clinician in the pulmonary rehabilitation lab, Manning has a positive attitude and great work ethic.
"David attends on a consistent basis to keep fit, usually three days per week. He is a strong advocate for himself—exploring options available to him for the treatment of his COPD."
Manning sums it up, “I feel better—I play golf, I cut the lawn, everything I want to do—because I’m strengthening my lungs.”
For information about Baystate Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, call 413-794-7026.