The fight to breathe is a daily battle for Denver resident Dennis Conroy.
The Lincoln County man suffered a collapsed lung in 2007, nearly a decade after he lost half a lung to pneumonia and was also diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
He lost part of his lung after it infused to his backbone, he said.
Conroy’s breathing difficulties force him to wear oxygen 24/7, but he hopes to receive a double-lung transplant in the near future.
He said since June he has been receiving breathing treatments at Duke University Medical Center in Raleigh and is set to return in two months.
Currently, Conroy has no date scheduled for a transplant since medical officials have yet to finish his evaluation, he said.
He also needs to raise additional funds — $10,000 — for travel and lodging since he will be staying at Duke for six months following the critical surgery.
Lastly, the 57-year-old must shed several pounds before going under the knife, he said.
Until receiving new lungs, daily chores will continue to plague him.
“It’s hard to clean house, and I have to take a breather every once in a while,” Conroy said.
“Even getting dressed is a chore. I’ve got to do everything real slow.”
Nonprofit organization HelpHopeLive is handling donations for Conroy.
The Pennsylvania-based group provides financial assistance to patients and families dealing with a transplant or “catastrophic injury,” particularly “bridging the…gap between what their health insurance will cover and what they actually need to heal, live and thrive,” the website said.
While the surgery will not relieve Conroy from having to take a large variety of prescriptions and may or may not eliminate his need for additional breathing assistance, he is still looking forward to an operation that will dramatically improve his health and allow him to resume certain activities and hobbies.
For more information on HealthHopeLive or to make a donation in Conroy’s name, visit healthhopelive.org. Individuals may also mail funds to 2 Ladnor Corporate Center, 100 Matson Ford Road, Suite 100, Radnor, Penn., 19087 and write “Attn: In honor of Dennis Conroy” on the envelope.