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Center for Acute Respiratory Failure

Patient Stories

Jay Shiland, Surviving Pneumonia

Jay Shiland

On a skiing vacation, Jay Shiland developed what is believed to be pneumonia. His condition became grave and doctors employed ECMO to add oxygen to his blood and allow Mr. Shiland's lungs to rest and recover. Read more

Nell Pritchard, Breathing Easy

Nell Pritchard

Nell Pritchard looks like a normal, healthy young woman. She's 21 years old, 5'4" tall, and weighs 120 pounds--which, for Nell, is a miracle. A few months ago, she was down to 80 pounds and fighting for every breath. Her lifelong cystic fibrosis combined with a persistent bacterial infection had resulted in severe respiratory failure. She had been in and out of Albany Medical Center and on different antibiotics but nothing seemed to work. Read more

Pamela Abma, A Road to Recovery

Pamela Abma

Her recovery was by no means complete when she left the hospital, however. She had lost twenty pounds while on ECMO, and was extremely weak; she could barely walk around. She desperately needed to put on the muscle mass she had lost. Choosing to forgo rehabilitation, she hired a personal trainer, and began her recovery by using weights in her swimming pool. Before long, she was spending the hot summer days swimming laps. Her strength gradually returned, and she was thrilled to be able to attend her son's wedding in August. Read more

Nichele Calhoun, A Normal Life, Regained

Nichele Calhoun

Nichele Calhoun, 34, was five months pregnant when she learned she had pulmonary hypertension ─ abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, which makes the right side of the heart work harder than normal. She had felt fine. But a few weeks after her son was born in fall 2010, she found it challenging just to get out of the car. Read more

Kevin Rogers, A Tee of a Different Kind

Kevin Rogers

Kevin Rogers was an otherwise healthy 25-year-old living in Staten Island when his life was turned upside down in May 2012. After a visit to the doctor for back discomfort, he was told it was likely musculoskeletal pain related to the physical nature of his work for a heating oil company. But when pain relievers failed to help, he and his mother, Evelyn, knew something else needed to be done. Read more

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