Since having the medical background, I’ll bring you up to date on Hélène’s health. Unfortunately though, I don’t have her great sense of humor or her ability to make play on words (she takes after her father that way).
Hélène’s pulmonary function has gone from 26% in October 2011 to 20% just two weeks ago. Recent tests show that it is no longer just a question of lung capacity. Her lungs have also lost some of the ability to do the proper oxygen exchange. The team as communicated to us on various occasions that this means Hélène has very little reserve.
Progression of Pulmonary Fibrosis means that Hélène’s lungs are getting more scarred. This scarring causes the hardening of the lungs. This also means that her heart is working harder not only at getting enough oxygen to the rest of her body but also at pumping the blood through her hardened lungs, facing resistance. Over time, the heart’s effectiveness also starts to be affected by the persisting resistance. Hélène’s latest echocardiogram shows some early signs of the heart being affected by this.
Hélène’s focuses now have to be on maintaining her physical shape through her exercise routine established by her medical team and preserving her energy more than ever before in order to not increase the demands on her heart. This will help with her recovery process after the surgery. Let me tell you that she’s very diligently been working out her muscles to prepare for that Sprint (a good comparison made by a dear friend of ours). In fact, she does not hesitate to point them out (her well-developed muscles) when talking about her physiotherapy and its benefits.
It goes without saying that her positive attitude, her joie de vivre and her love for Reese have all remained. In fact, they may even be stronger than before. I’m sure that seeing so many enthusiastic supporters of the Organ and Tissue Donor awareness Campaign in Ottawa had something to do with this.
Way to go Ottawa! You did such a great job in supporting the Torch of Life relay last Friday.
We love and miss you!
H&M (Hélène & Manon)