What Our Patients Say

Barlow's Ventilator Weaning Program Teachers Hope

Shirley Herndon is grateful for every breath she takes. But it wasn’t an easy route from a devastating heart attack and ventilator dependency back to a life of simple everyday pleasures.

At the beginning of her stay in another hospital, Shirley was connected to a ventilator by a tube that went through her mouth and vocal cords into her trachea (wind pipe). After a few weeks, doctors performed a tracheotomy, allowing the tube to be moved from her mouth and placed directly into her trachea. Because of the time she had already spent in the hospital and time she still needed to recover, she was considered “chronically critically ill.” Shirley’s doctor determined that it was best for her to move to a facility with a focused program that combined weaning from the ventilator with rehabilitation. He referred her to Barlow.

Here, with the help of Barlow’s specialists and team approach, Shirley was able to get off the ventilator and breathe on her own. Little by little, she regained her life—the ability to walk, talk, eat, write, and sew—one success leading to another.

 

Barlow's Medically Complex Care Creates Hope

Roxana Cugno iwas just 39 years old when Barlow helped change her life. Born with lung sequestration, she had experienced decades of suffering, including bouts of pneumonia, compromised breathing, and a partially paralyzed diaphragm. She had also undergone lung surgery. As a young mother, she faced numerous day-to-day challenges.

After arriving at Barlow, the team conducted a series of tests, which revealed a partially paralyzed diaphragm and low oxygenation levels. Through weeks of education and intensive physical and occupational therapy, Roxana learned how to pace herself and monitor her breathing to control symptoms and return to everyday life. Highlights of her treatment included understanding the role and correct use of medications, learning new breathing techniques, and learning how to cope with depression and anxiety that may accompany chronic lung disease.

"By the time I got to Barlow, I was in pretty bad shape.I had seen specialist after specialist. But finally, I was in a hospital where I felt that people really listened to me. Barlow took a look at my wholeday-to-day life, not just my lung issue. They not only helped make my life easier, they gave me and my family hope."

 

More Voices

"Thanks to Barlow, I feel like I am going to have a more productive life. It's hard to put a price tag on quality of life, but they've given me a humungous gift."
--Betty Overton

"I did not realize what bad shape I was in. I learned how to breathe, how to pace myself, and use breathing exercises. I believe that I am alive today because of the treatment and training that I received at Barlow. And, I am very grateful to the doctors and staff for that."
--Betty Buckingham