In Memory of….

//In Memory of….

In Memory of….

By Eileen Rubin Zacharias
December 1, 2002

In this newsletter, we wanted to profile Shelia Haefling, who passed away November 16, 2002, from pulmonary fibrosis while waiting for a lung transplant. Shelia’s death is not the first post ARDS passing from pulmonary fibrosis from our community; in fact, it has been less than a year since another member of our community at the ARDS Foundation, a great contributor to our message board, passed away, also while waiting for a lung transplant.

As I began to write this, it was November 23, 2002, the day of Shelia’s funeral, or her “celebration of life” as she would rather have it called, and unfortunately, I was unable to attend. Instead, I spent my day, much as I do most of my days, with my daughters, attending to my daily chores and errands and joys that most moms do…but my mind kept drifting back to Shelia, and her family and friends, as I attended to my children…

One of the reasons Shelia’s story is so important is because it illustrates an important concern for many patients post ARDS; many are being diagnosed with serious medical conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, Asthma, Emphysema, and other conditions. While just last month I wrote a column in the online newsletter proclaiming my post ARDS medical health, with clear lungs while telling people that there is a reason for hope, my joyous story is not always the case. People write to me often, after getting diagnosed with these or other medical conditions post ARDS. There are many patients currently on oxygen for a portion, or all of their day. Several post ARDS patients are in the process of contemplating lung transplants.

Just like with ARDS, knowledge is power and the more knowledge that you have of your post ARDS ailment, the more empowered you are. It is important to take control of your medical condition and your heath to the extent that is possible, especially after surviving ARDS. There are support organizations, just like the ARDS Foundation and many of those organizations we work with. There are other people who are dealing with many of the same issues as you might be dealing with. Just as with ARDS, you are likely not alone.

I hope that you will take the time to read Shelia’s amazing story. The volunteers at the ARDS Foundation will miss her very much as I am sure that her husband, Jack, her children, her family and her friends, miss her. She did everything within her power to fight first the ARDS, and then the pulmonary fibrosis. Unfortunately, it was a fight against time. As Pastor Ian always says…’the world is a poorer place’ and with that sentiment, I could not agree more.

By | 2019-03-03T17:33:02-06:00 March 3rd, 2019|Foundation Views|Comments Off on In Memory of….