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David Manning Not Letting COPD Slow Him Down

David Manning working out in pulmonary rehab gymDavid Manning, 66, spent many years of his life working in environments where smoking was not only permitted, but almost expected. As the years passed, the impacts of smoking on the lungs became much clearer, and laws changed to promote healthier workplace and indoor environments. But for Manning, the damage was done.  

Even though Manning quit smoking over 20 years ago, his lungs were damaged by years of smoking, and 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 are diagnosed with COPD, and another 15 million are suffering from developing and undiagnosed COPD. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States.  

Fighting COPD

While these statistics are intimidating and scary, Manning refuses to give up. He manages his condition through Baystate's award-winning Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, which is under the direction of pulmonologist Dr. Victor Pinto-Plata. He completed Phase 2 COPD treatment and continues maintenance work in Phase 3.

A large component of Phase 3 involves David working out several times a week at Baystate’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation gym on Main Street in Springfield.

“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. “I feel better – I play golf, I cut the lawn, everything I want to do because I’m strengthening my lungs.”  

Safety Net

Manning enjoys going to Baystate’s gym because it is staffed with rehabilitation and medical experts who ensure that he is safe while working out and improving the capacity of his lungs. “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.”  

Donna Hawk, a clinician in the pulmonary rehabilitation lab, has been impressed by Manning’s commitment to better health.  

“David comes to Pulmonary Rehab with a positive attitude and great work ethic,” she said. “He 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. Supplemental oxygen is used consistently as ordered by his physician. It is a pleasure working with David to help him maintain the benefits he has achieved in pulmonary rehabilitation.”

For general information about Baystate Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, call 413-794-7026.