Jennifer’s new lease of life

REVOLUTIONARY TREATMENT Jennifer Holroyd whose life has been transformed by the treatment.
REVOLUTIONARY TREATMENT Jennifer Holroyd whose life has been transformed by the treatment.

A pioneering operation has breathed new life into asthma sufferer Jennifer Holroyd.

Jennifer, of Little Gomersal, was born with the condition but her health deteriorated with the onset of emphysema.

Her breathing problems got so bad that she needed 20 minutes to recover after a shower, had to give up tending her garden and even needed help putting on her socks.

However following the revolutionary treatment she has gone from being able to walk just 200-300 yards on a flat surface, to being able to walk up the stairs in her home.

Emphysema leaves many people breathless and prevents them from living life to the full. However the non-invasive technique involves fitting valves which prevent air from entering the most damaged areas of her lung when she breathes in, while allowing air out when she exhales. This helps airflow to be directed towards the better functioning parts of her lung, leading to improved breathing.

Jennifer, 68, said when she came round she first asked if she was still alive.

“It was the first time in 67 years I couldn’t hear a wheeze,” she said.

“I wish I could have had it years ago.”

“I missed out on a lot with my grandchildren simply because I could not go and see them when they were younger because of my condition. My friends and family have noticed a huge difference and I can do so much more with them now than I ever could.

“I am able to move and spend time with my husband doing things together as a couple. I could not have done any of this before the treatment when my ribs locked if I attempted any type of movement with my upper body.

“We did once try dancing lessons but had to give it up because I would get so short of breath; now I can consider the possibility of starting dance classes again, which is brilliant.”

She is now back in the garden and even planning a holiday to St Petersburg with her husband, John.

Thoracic surgeon Mr Kostas Papagiannopoulos, who carried out the procedure at Spire Leeds Hospital, Leeds, said: “The treatment is ideal for patients for whom surgery is not an option or present with a high risk for a surgical procedure. Jennifer wanted a non-invasive treatment and so this was perfect for her. The treatment gives back independence to patients with severe breathing difficulties, such as Jennifer.”