Stories 2017-08-22T09:18:57-05:00


Real-life stories from our ARDS community. If you’d like to see your or your loved-one’s story presented here, please email us at

In Memoriam

Andrew “Drew” Thompson’s story – In Memoriam

On November 23, 2022, 23-year-old Andrew woke up not feeling well. His mother, Pauline Jordon, took him to Urgent Care where he was diagnosed with the flu. Andrew was prescribed Tamiflu and given a steroid shot. He came home and rested. The next day, Thanksgiving morning, he woke up and said he was [...]

Howard Coleman

ARDS Survivor Howard Coleman, a 49-year-old high school teacher from Fredericksburg, Virginia, went to the hospital on December 26, 2017 but did not really know what was going on until late January, 2018. Howard’s wife told him he had been diagnosed with viral pneumonia that resulted in Acute Respir [...]

David – in Memoriam

On July 19, 2009, Michele’s husband David, who she was married to for 19 years, died of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Recently, Michele just marked the 10 year anniversary of his death. 50 years old David was in good health. However, on Saturday, July 18, 2009, Michele noticed he wasn’ [...]

Kimberly Wright-ARDS Survivor

ARDS became a reality for my wife and I in January 2014. My wife Kimberly Wright,  who at the time was 54 years old, a mother of two, a grandmother of 4 girls and one boy and a very successful special education teacher for over twenty years. Kimberly came down with type A influenza which in turn bec [...]

Mark A Lowery – ARDS Survivor

Mark A. Lowery, an attorney in Boston, Massachusetts, battled ARDS in August-September 1998 following emergency gall bladder surgery. Mark’s gall bladder became necrotic and he developed gangrene, with accompanying severe sepsis and blood infection. As with most ARDS patients, Mark almost died. The [...]

Silvana Breur – ARDS Survivor

Silvana Breur, who lives in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is thankful. In February, 2003, Silvana went to the hospital for her third surgery on her jaw. The previous unsuccessful surgeries were in July, 2002, and August, 2002. At that time, the then thirty-nine year old Silvana hoped that this would e [...]

Constantine P. Peterson – In Memoriam

Dorothy Stuff, Constantine P. Peterson’s daughter will tell you that her father had never been sick; he always was strong and hardworking. As a cabinet maker and carpenter by trade, he was seventy-six, still active and working like a young man. On March 1, 2003, he began to feel ill but did not ment [...]

Jacob Irwin – In Memoriam

The World is a Poorer Place: On November 22, 2006, ten year old Jacob landed on his head after falling off a horse. He fell when the saddle broke and landed head first on a concrete septic tank lid. He was life-flighted to the hospital. Jacob dealt with many medical concerns including brain swelling [...]

John Bolasky – ARDS Survivor

On September 15, 2000, forty-four year old John Bolasky went to the hospital for knee surgery. Shortly after the surgery, John had complications and was diagnosed with ARDS. He spent the next 23 days fighting for his life. John’s wife Robin, brother, sister-in-law, and many friends were with him dur [...]

Gene Bass

In January of 2000, Gene Bass heard the term “ARDS” for the first time in his life. It was one week after his Mom Geri had been admitted to the hospital for flu like symptoms. Her doctors told us she only had a 10% chance of surviving. Gene was with his Mom when she was told that she would have to b [...]

Shannon- ARDS Survivor

My story begins late December after Christmas with my family in Colorado. I had flown back to California, my state of residence for the past 10 years. I was back on the truck driving long-haul as this had been my job for the past two years. I took pride in taking care of my health, with a good diet [...]

Brenda Ramsland – ARDS Survivor

Five years ago, twenty nine year old Brenda Ramsland, who lived near Baltimore, MD, at the time, learned that she was pregnant on her two-year-old daughter’s birthday. Though she was joyous, she soon became very ill; the doctors called it morning sickness. But Brenda had previously had morning sickn [...]

Yuvika Garg – In Memoriam

 Shining Star lost in the galaxies – Yuvika Garg was born on October 19, 2004 in Punjab (India). She was the only child of her parents. She was an astonishing child as she never been adamant and never demanded anything from anyone, though her parents, loving her this kind of nature, themselves, boug [...]

Christina – ARDS Survivor

The week of Thanksgiving, 2009, started like any other work week for Christina, from Blanchester, Ohio. who was excited for a four day weekend. The only problem was that 31 year old Christina was not feeling very well. By Monday evening, she felt like she was coming down with bronchitis, which was n [...]

Christina Londono – ARDS Survivor

On August 7, 2009 I was very sick with fever, body aches, cough and sore throat. I went to the Dr. and he tested me for the flu, but the test came back negative, and he gave me a prescription for cough. Two days later I went back to the Dr. because I was still sick, and the cough got worse. He presc [...]

Brett Bergerson – ARDS Survivor

Brett’s nightmare started Aug. 30, 2009. Twenty-two year old Brett went to the emergency room in Angleton TX. They ran blood work, swabs and said everything was fine, but his fever was 104.2 degrees. He was kept there for nine hours and diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia. On August 31, 2009, Br [...]

Brandy – ARDS Survivor

Brandy’s story begins on January 26, 2006, when she was thirty years old and pregnant with her second child. After she began to cough up blood, she went to the hospital and learned she had double pneumonia. Brandy was transferred to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, Texas where a team of doctors awaited [...]

Dewang Chopra – In Memoriam

Dewang Chopra was born on June 26, 2000 in the satellite city of Faridabad, near New Delhi, India. Dewang proceeded his twin sister, Disha, by five minutes. Dewang was an excellent student and athlete, excelling at Badminton, and very fond of cycling and skating. Dewang never suffered any serious he [...]

Ivory – ARDS Survivor

On January 4, 2008, 5 year old Ivory went to the hospital in Columbus, Ohio, because she was throwing up and had been suffering from headaches. The doctors did a CT scan and discovered a very large mass on the back of her brain. Doctors told Julie that this tumor could kill Ivory. On January 7, 2008 [...]

Meg Tapucol-Provo – ARDS Survivor

Before her illness, Meg was an active, healthy mother who balanced her time between taking care of her toddler son and working as a cultural diversity trainer, software trainer and on-camera spokesperson. She had been an active member of the Seattle theatre community, performing in professional stag [...]

Sandy’s story – In Memoriam

April’s mother, Sandy, was admitted to the hospital for severe pneumonia as well as liver failure and kidney failure on October 19, 2008. At that time, she was somewhat coherent when the ambulance arrived. Upon admission, doctor’s decided to put her into a drug induced coma, intibate her and began t [...]

Abraham (Al) Rothstein – In Memoriam

My dad who was 82 years old at the time, was taken to the hospital by ambulance on March 2nd, 2009 after being found on the floor of his apartment….He was diagnosed with pneumonia and sepsis, and was doing fine for the first few days…He was on oxygen, and then on the 12th of March, he was struggling [...]

Melanie Raczka-Sinasac – ARDS Survivor

Everyone always says to enjoy every minute and live your life to the fullest because you truly never know what could happen. I was completely unaware of the fears of my fiancé, family and entire medical team in the Intensive Care Unit at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital located in Windsor, Ontario Canada. [...]

Christian – ARDS Survivor

On May 22, 2008, Christian Rose, 33 years of age, went out with friends and stopped by his sister’s house to see his niece. It was like any typical night. Earlier that day, though, Christian had been at the emergency room and was told that he had a respiratory infection and was given an antibiotic. [...]

Kim – ARDS Survivor

In the middle of June, 2006, 17-year old Kim was diagnosed with pneumonia, sent home on antibiotics, and twelve hours later, had difficulty breathing. Kim’s mom, Laurie, brought her to the local emergency room where she was told that her condition was worsening; Kim was sent to the pediatric unit at [...]

Sophia – ARDS Survivor

Sophia, from Dublin and her Amazing Survivor Story On August 31, 2005, Sophia went into Mullingar Hospital. She was eighteen years old and twenty-nine weeks pregnant with her second child. Sophia has a kidney infection and pnemonia. Sophia was put into a drug induced coma and on a ventilator. Her ki [...]

Eileen Rubin – ARDS Survivor

At thirty-three years of age, Eileen left the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office as a criminal prosecutor in order to create her own private law practice. Married for only a year to a Chicago police officer, she was healthy and active. Therefore, when her lower back started to hurt her, she appli [...]

Jim McAuley – In Memoriam

Jim’s ARDS roller coaster ride began on Christmas Day. His daughter-in-law, Martina (Marty for short) was working the late shift, as she was an ER nurse. When she finished work to pick up her three girls and her husband, she asked Jim if had too much ‘holiday cheer?’ “No,” he said, “I just feel all [...]

LoriBeth – ARDS Survivor

On May 12, 2000, LoriBeth came home throwing up and with a terrible headache. That same day, she found out that her car had died, she received her final divorce papers in the mail, and her student loans took her IRS money of $1350.00. The next morning, she woke up with a fever of 104 degrees; Sunday [...]

Jordan – ARDS Survivor

In February, 2008, 27 year old Jordan, who was living in Louisiana when she became ill with what she thought was a bad chest cold. She had difficulty breathing and just did not feel well. Jordan’s husband, Kevin, was deployed at Iraq at the time and she was six hours away from her family in Texas. B [...]

Sue Moul – ARDS Survivor

Sue Moul, ARDS Survivor Times Two Sue Moul survived two ARDS episodes. Until she got involved in the ARDS discussion forum, and started doing more reading, she did not realize how lucky, or blessed she has been. Sue’s first episode began February 4, 2005. She woke up having some wheezing and felt a [...]

Kasey – In Memoriam

Kasey and Abigail, the World is a Poorer Place… Evie & Steve: Kasey Lee was twenty four years old and pregnant with a little girl who was to be named Abigail. She lived in Norman, Oklahoma when in July, 2007, she went to the emergency room with a urinary tract infection and extremely high fever [...]

Joan – ARDS Survivor

On February 17, 2001, sixty-five year old Joan was driving home from work and had a very serious car accident. She was taken by Flight for Life to Rockford Memorial Hospital, the nearest trauma center where physicians initially found she had a break in the C2 (neck) vertebra but fortunately no cord [...]

Saleena Silva – ARDS Survivor

Saleena, the smallest miracle.  Saleena was born almost a month early on October 20, 2002. She was born by Cesarean birth and weighed only five pounds. Saleena initially had some difficulty breathing and was sent to the special nursery. At one week old, Saleena was able to go home. But only one week [...]

Kristiana – ARDS Survivor

Kristiana Creamer was 22 years old when she learned that she was pregnant. Everything was going fine with her pregnancy, until she was at 18 weeks. Kristiana awoke on May 13, 2007, which was Mother’s Day and had difficulty breathing. At first she thought it was just her asthma, so she tried some bre [...]

Amanda – ARDS Survivor

Amanda’s story began in a rather unusual way. She had worked for five years in Ohio, in emergency services and loved her job, rotating between the engine as a firefighter and the ambulance as a paramedic. It was May, 2005, when twenty-four year old Amanda was given a well deserved two week vacation; [...]

Mary Jo Hamilton – ARDS Survivor

On Friday, March 11, 2005, Mary Jo, 41, her sister, and their children left Memphis, Tennessee for a Spring Break trip to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. Mary Jo was suffering with chest congestion, but nothing too bad. They arrived Florida Saturday and Mary Jo’s congestion was a little worse. Still, she [...]

Tricia Becker – ARDS Survivor

Tricia was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia, ARDS and sepsis. Doctors reported to her family that she had a 50% chance of survival. Physicians needed to tap into the area around her lungs and drain the huge amounts of fluid that had accumulated. After about eleven days, Tricia’s breathing began to [...]

Chris – ARDS Survivor

ARDS strikes one family twice… Chris’s ARDS Story In August, 2006, Chris and his wife, Lena, along with their four daughters were living in Livingston, Tennessee. They had moved there in September, 2005 so that Lena could be closer to he family, Their recent loss of son, James, to ARDS in April, 200 [...]

Sara Beth – ARDS Survivor

Sarah Beth had just celebrated her 49th birthday on May 16, 2002. She had been eating healthy, walking three to four miles a day, and lost 22 lbs over a period of three months. Sarah Beth felt great! On the Friday night before Memorial Day, May 24, Sarah Beth started running a low-grade fever, just [...]

Michelle D. – ARDS Survivor

Michele was admitted to the hospital on April 5, 2006 when she was 49 years old. She had to have emergency surgery at Winchester Hospital, in Winchester, MA, due to complete bowel obstruction and perforation caused by a hernia that was undetected. The result of this perforation caused her to become [...]

Mark – ARDS Survivor

On the morning of December 23, 2005, Lynn found her 44 year old husband, Mark, unconscious and barely breathing. He had complained of being tired when he went to bed the night before and thought he was coming down with a cold. EMS arrived, intubated him and transported him to the closest hospital. T [...]

Mel Rudolph – In Memoriam

In loving memory of Mel and Rose Rudolph, Laura Burke October, 2006 is three years since Mel Rudolph had ARDS. It had all began when he felt extremely weak after gardening. Mel drove himself to the emergency room; he was cold and weak. His wife, Rose, was at his side. After Mel received a couple of [...]

Julie Russell – ARDS Survivor

Eighteen year old Julie Russell had everything to live for…she was President of her student council, National Honor Society President, yearbook editor and Homecoming Queen. Julie also had a part time job and attended church several times a week; to say the least, Julie was extremely active. There wa [...]

Bill – In Memoriam

In May, 2005, Bill was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. He received three chemo treatments, one month apart. In August, 2005, Bill and his wife, Jane, who live in Wisconsin, learned that he was a candidate for a partial or full lung resection. On September 2, 2005, Bill underwent a lobectomy, whi [...]

Judy Otteson – ARDS Survivor

On Friday evening, November 20, 2004, Judy Otteson, then 60, from Yakima, Washington, developed a headache, chills and general aches and pains three days after receiving a tiny, half inch dog bite on the web space between her right thumb and index finger. She had met friends for dinner the night bef [...]

Peter – ARDS Survivor

Peter’s story, as well as his hospital stay, is a long one with an outcome so much more then anyone ever expected. Nancy’s brother was sixty three years young when he went into the hospital on January 7, 2006 with pneumonia. Nancy and her sister thought that Peter might be discharged the next day bu [...]

Zoe Erin Lambert – ARDS Survivor

Zoe’s story is the story of a Warrior, it is the story a Survivor…. Zoe Erin Lambert came into this world on February 26, 1998, welcomed with jubilance by her family but within hours of arriving, that jubilance soon turned to panic, and the Words “VATERS SYNDROME” was soon to be word that her family [...]

Nellie Johnson – In Memoriam

Lani lost her sister, Nellie, to ARDS after Colon Cancer surgery. Nelllie was 64 years of age, single mother of four, grandmother of five, and great-grandmother of one. Nellie died on January 26, 2006. After Nellie’s surgery, her story was similar to many others who are diagnosed with ARDS. She spen [...]

Brad – ARDS Survivor

Brad’s ARDS experience began when he was thirty-one years old, in December 2004. Before that time, he had never really been sick but was not feeling well for about a week. Brad was coughing and having a tough time catching his breath.. Finally, his wife, Wendy, convinced him to go to the doctor who [...]

Debra Clifton – In Memoriam

Debra Clifton, The World is a Poorer Place Debra had surgery in June 2004 to remove an ulcerative colitis and had an ileostomy. Then on September 24, 2004, she was admitted to Atlanta Medical Center to have a reversal done. Initially, Debra was doing well and even given food. However, she developed [...]

Chuck – ARDS Survivor

Chuck’s ARDS story began when his wife called 911 on August 18, 2005, after she found him with 105 degree fever and incoherent. Chuck had just retired from the University of Virginia several months before. He was 69 years old at the time. Immediately, Chuck was diagnosed with ARDS, septic shock and [...]

Lisa Snow – ARDS Survivor

Lisa Snow is a 46 year old wife and mother from Georgia and this is her story. On September 19, 2005, after helping her daughter move the day before, Lisa awoke with what she thought was a pulled muscle in her back. She kept thinking it would get better but four days later, she went to the doctor. I [...]

Terry W. Brannan – In Memoriam

Terry went to the hospital in June 2005 to have surgery for a hernia. Once the forty-five year old was released, he was in constant pain and the surgery seemed slow to heal. In mid-September 2005, while still having some pain from surgery, Terry was having flu and cold symptoms. The doctor told him [...]

Joshua Weaver – ARDS Survivor

Michelle rushed her four year old son, Joshua Weaver, to the ER at Huntsville Women and Children’s Hospital in Huntsville, Alabama on February 17, 2005, at 3:30 in the morning because he was having trouble breathing. When they arrived at the ER entrance, Joshua collapsed. He was rushed to the back, [...]

John Nelson – ARDS Survivor

On July 27, 2005, forty-three year old John passed out in his apartment and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. John was bleeding from some scar tissue in his esophagus, due to acid reflux. After throwing up blood all over himself and the ER nurses, John was rushed into emergency surg [...]

James H. Graham – In Memoriam

James H. Graham’s ARDS story begins with his birth on February 20, 2005. He was the fifth child and only son born to Chris and Lena Graham. Lena delivered James at a hospital in Michigan City, Indiana. After his birth, which was four weeks premature, nurses noticed that James’s color was sort of an [...]

Jessica – ARDS Survivor

On Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003, Jessica woke up complaining of being dizzy. She said the room was spinning. Her mom, Julie got out of bed and took her temperature; it was 104.7 and climbing. Several hours, Motrin and 2 tepid baths later Julie thought her fever started to break. By Monday afternoon, Julie [...]

Kristen – In Memoriam

  On February 12, 2005, Thomas spoke to his daughter, Kristen, who was seventeen weeks pregnant. During the conversation, she told her dad that she was not feeling well, her back was hurting. Kristen had been to her OB, but sent home. On February 19, 2005, Kristen was still not feeling well. Ho [...]

Janice – In Memoriam

On March 23, 2005, Janice was diagnosed with ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). No one in her family had ever heard of it; not her 84 year old parents, not her sister, Carolyn, nor her children, grandchildren, or other family or friends. So it came as a shock to them when they found out tha [...]

Mechelle – ARDS Survivor

On June 8th, 2005, thirty-seven year old Mechelle, began to feel like she had the flu. She came home from work, took a hot bath and went to bed. On Thursday, the 9th, she was so ill that she could not get out of bed. Her husband, Chris, kept insisting that Mechelle go to the doctor, but she had felt [...]

Vicky Young – ARDS Survivor

Vicky Young, from Georgetown, SC, is a grateful survivor of ARDS. On Thursday, February 17, 2005, fifty-two year old Vicky went to the doctor because she had not felt well for almost a year. Her doctor told her that she had Bronchitis and the beginning of Bronchial pneumonia. And that was the last t [...]

Judith Hoffman – ARDS Survivor

Judith Hoffman was fifty-one years old when she was trying to get approved Gastric Stapling from her insurance company. However, her insurance would no approve it. Still, Judith wanted to go ahead anyway. First she went to Ohio State University, but they told Judith ‘no.’ Then a surgeon who only doe [...]

Mel Johnson – ARDS Survivor

Mel’s Story written by his daughter, Jolene Troia Jolene Troia’s father, Mel Johnson who lives in southern Wisconsin, is a large man, 6’5, 300 pounds, with a great big heart. Good thing it is a very strong heart as well! On July 31, 2003, Mel had bypass surgery to correct 5 blockages in his heart. H [...]

Mike Gillespie – ARDS Survivor

Mike is a Miracle Man. If anyone does not believe in prayer, they had better take a long look at Deborah’s husband, Mike, because he is truly a Miracle!!!! Mike and Deborah went to Duke on August 15, 2004 in order for Mike to have elective procedure to correct his atrial fibrillation. He had several [...]

Fred – ARDS Survivor

In the early morning hours of February 19, 2005, after a restless night’s sleep with abdominal discomfort, thirty-five year old Fred could not stand up from the pain, and had his spouse, Ruth, call 911. Paramedics arrived in less than five minutes, and took him to the nearest hospital, which just ha [...]

Doug – ARDS Survivor

Doug’s Story, When It Rains, It Pours. . . On Nov 14, 2002, Doug’s wife, Grace, was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). There is no cure for this and it always fatal. It is a muscle neuron disease that slowly atrophies all the muscles in the body. The last part of the body affected is the dia [...]

Dee – ARDS Survivor

On September 11, 1998 Dee entered the hospital for an out-patient surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. After the surgery Dee was shivering, so the doctors kept her overnight for observation. They told her family that the shivering may have been caused by the anesthesia. The following morning her blood [...]

Betty Koontz – In Memoriam

On August 2, 2004, Gene’s seventy-five year old wife, Betty Koontz, who was otherwise healthy and active, was hospitalized with jaundice. The hospital immediately decided to do a liver biopsy which showed nothing wrong with her liver. However, during the biopsy, the needle went into a spot of tangle [...]

Ivora McKenzie – ARDS Survivor

Ivora’s story began the second week of August 2005 when she developed flu-like symptoms. She tried various over the counter medications, but they did little or nothing to help her feel better. On August 17th twenty year old Ivora left school early, took some medication and went to bed. By Sunday, sh [...]

Jacob Stewart – ARDS Survivor

Jacob Stewart is a nine-year-old boy, whose parents, DeAnna and Larry love him very much. Jacob also has severe autism, with self-abuse, MR, CP, he is non-verbal, and has seizures. Jacob’s mother, DeAnna took him to the doctor on December 15, 2003, but Jacob was sent home and his mother was told it [...]

Susan Sarno – ARDS Survivor

On December 28, 2003, thirty-six year old Susan Sarno was fourteen weeks pregnant and had a hernia on her belly button, which was worse due to her pregnancy. That day, Susan was hospitalized at St. Anthony’s North in Colorado; the next morning, the surgeon told her that is was his and her OB’s recom [...]

Stefan Parmenter – ARDS Survivor

In April 2004, when Stefan Parmenter was diagnosed with Lung Cancer, he thought he might be resistant to the drugs that would treat him. Stefan, at forty-seven years, had been drinking ten pints of Lager and smoked sixty cigarettes every day since his early teens. On June 29, 2004, Stefan was admitt [...]

Angela Bowen – ARDS Survivor

Angela Bowen’s long ARDS journey began on June 26, 2002 during a surgical procedure when her esophagus was perforated. Angela was 46 years old, in good health and exercised every day. The next three crucial days were spent trying to understand why she was in such pain and unable to breathe. Finally, [...]

Jenny – ARDS Survivor

On August 27, 2003, Jenny was 25 years old. She was also very pregnant and swollen. After a checkup, Jenny’s OBGyn sent her to the hospital to induce labor. After 27 hours in labor, Jenny’s daughter’s heart rate suddenly dropped drastically, and she was delivered via an emergency c-section. Thankful [...]

Nathaniel Adamczyk – In Memoriam

Nathaniel Adamczyk was born in January 2002. He was a happy, vibrant and healthy young boy who loved animals, trucks, and Elmo. He was bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. He attended Montessori School, where he fed his young appetite for learning. By the time he was just 18 months old, Nat [...]

Rilee Higley – ARDS Survivor

Thirty-five year old Rilee Higley is an ARDS survivor. On February 18, 2004, her Mom went in to check on her at about 11:00 AM and by night fall, Rilee was in the ICU at Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Washington. Rilee had a fever, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and her oxygen levels [...]

Frank – ARDS Survivor

Frank and Robin moved to Plains, Pennsylvania in 1995 and found one another in 2000. After a triple bypass and several strokes in November 2003 Frank was making an amazing recovery; on Christmas Day, Frank was able to get a pass to come home from the hospital to spend the day with Robin and the rest [...]

Sarah – ARDS Survivor

Sarah was diagnosed with ARDS in April, 2004. She was twenty-seven years old. Sarah, who lives in Monessen, PA, went to the hospital with cellulitis of her jaw from a tooth infection. Three days later, she began to feel extremely fatigued. She was having difficulty breathing and felt as though somet [...]

Ilene Pinkerton’s – In Memoriam

On March 14th, 2004, Ilene Pinkerton was on Spring Break from her position at Howard Payne University Library, in Brownwood, Texas. She had stopped by her daughter Karla’s house located in Abilene, Texas, on her way to spend the week with her mother. She had been to the doctor on March 13th, and was [...]

Lafrieda Morris – ARDS Survivor

Lafrieda Morris went to the hospital on February 7, 2002, for an abdominal hernia repair. Her next memories began five weeks later, when she awoke from a drug induced coma. She had no memory of the surgery, and had no idea of where she was at; it upset her to keep asking. Though Lafrieda knew she wa [...]

Eddie Mercado – In Memoriam

Eddie Mercado, The World is a Poorer Place… Eddie Mercado was a young, 26 year old gentleman, single and full of life. He traveled a lot working construction. In January, Eddie had a cold, which was treated with antibiotics. On January 7, 2004, at about 2:00 p.m., he told his sister, Amy, that he co [...]

Terry Marshall – In Memoriam

Terry Marshall, who was fifty-three years old, had surgery on December 3, 2003, at Fleming County Hospital, in Flemingsburg, Kentucky. The surgery was to remove scar tissue which had resulted from numerous prior surgeries. Following the surgery, he lost a lot of blood and required many blood transfu [...]

Jane M. Gruby – In Memoriam

Jane M. Gruby, The World is a Poorer Place, 8/25/40-5/24/04 Renee’s mother, Jane M. Gruby, went into the hospital to have her gallbladder removed via a laparoscopic surgical procedure, and she never came home. Jane lived near the Adirondack Mountains, in the Northern portion of New York State. Renee [...]

Bryan Clemons – In Memoriam

Bryan was undergoing cancer surgery on July 1, 2003 at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, TN. He was forty years old. The surgeon had gone over all the risks involved with major surgery and Leisa and Bryan were confident that Bryan would breeze through it as usual. This was a recurrence of [...]

Lester Cohen – ARDS Survivor

In July, 2003, Lester Cohen turned 81 years old. Les was always a very active gentleman, playing golf, working out several times a week. Les also went boogy boarding at the beach two or three days a week and went to college, taking a wood working class two times a week. On November 6, 2003, Les foun [...]

Mary (Lola) Griggs – ARDS Survivor

Mary is the youngest of four daughters, born on May 21, 1999. As the youngest, she was always in a position to have to fight–for time, to be heard, to catch up and to be respected. Mary learned to fight and win the battle of her life in March, 2000, at the age of ten months. On a Saturday in March, [...]

Donna Brady – ARDS Survivor

On Thanksgiving Day 2003, getting ready to go to her daughter’s house for dinner, Donna Brady noticed she was short of breath. This was not anything new, as Donna had already been treated for COPD for the past year and a half and was on oxygen at night. However, as the day progressed, Donna’s shortn [...]

Trish Framel – ARDS Survivor

On May 27, 2004, thirty-three year old Trish left her home in Owasso, Oklahoma, to take her stepdaughter, Brooke, to a Memorial Day soccer tournament in Lexington, Kentucky. For the week prior, Trish had been experiencing chills, backaches, and bouts with shortness of breath but she attributed these [...]

Carolyn McFarland – In Memoriam

  The McFarland’s ARDS story really begins in November, 2000, when Brent received a call from his father; he was told that something was wrong with his mother, Carolyn. She had a pituitary tumor wrapped around her optical nerve causing her to lose her eyesight. After the three-hour surgery, twe [...]

Mark Kardasz – In Memoriam

Mark Kardasz, survived by Susan – The World Is a Much Poorer Place… On February 20, 2004, thirty-three year old Mark Kardasz felt like he had a cold and a cough coupled with severe back pain. The following day, he went to the ER, where Mark was told that he had pneumonia; he was sent him home with z [...]

Linda M. Scrutchfield – In Memoriam

On March 20, 1998, Linda M. Scrutchfield had her third open heart surgery. At the age of 51, Linda is one of those people who gets used to being called a survivor; at thirteen years old, she had rheumatic fever and found out the two heart valves were no good. Her son was born in the CCU when Linda w [...]

Sara Siak – ARDS Survivor

Twenty-three year old Sarah Siak had a rough pregnancy from the start. Sarah had a condition in her blood that had her doing routine tests for months during her pregnancy. At about 6 months, Sarah ballooned from 140 pounds to 180. Her feet, hands, and entire body were retaining immense amounts of fl [...]

Sue – ARDS Survivor

Forty-six year old Sue felt bad during the last week in October, 2003. She thought she was getting a bad cold or bronchitis. Towards the end of the week, on Friday, Sue decided to see her doctor. He prescribed some antibiotics and inhalers and said that she had bronchitis. He advised her that if she [...]

Dana Raymer – ARDS Survivor

Dana Raymer, was seventeen years old and seven months pregnant with her daughter. Dana went to her doctor on July 21st, 2000, with terrible pains in her right side. Her physician told her that it was labor pains but Dana knew, deep inside, that it could not be. Of course, it was not. The medical pro [...]

kristy Kristy Shultz – ARDS Survivor

On June 15th, 2003, (Father’s Day), thirty-three year old Kristy Shultz, who lives in Charles City, IA, with her husband, Mark, had their second son, Dylan, who was joining brother Nathan, age two, after a birth that was seemingly without complication. Dylan was born rather quickly, in two hours, co [...]

Shirley Simmons – ARDS Survivor

On September 15, 1999, Shirley Simmons was fifty-four years old. She was in excellent heath and lived in Cleveland, Ohio. Shirley was Vice President of Leisure Travel for a local Travel Agency. She felt fine when she went to work that day, and conducted a staff meeting, but mid morning, she began to [...]

Greg – ARDS Survivor

It started in January when he suspected he had pneumonia. Luckily, he took that opportunity to quit smoking. In May, Greg went in to have his gall bladder removed. He was supposed to be off work for 2 weeks but ended up missing 6 weeks. Greg was still ill when he returned to work. He then went back [...]

Greg Fleckenstein – In Memoriam

57-year old Greg Fleckenstein was admitted to the hospital on April 8, 1998, for what was supposed to be a rather routine arterial bypass on his right leg. Prior to the surgery, Greg was a Professor at Baker College, teaching mathematics, when he suffered a stroke during a 1994 lecture. That abruptl [...]

Jennifer – ARDS Survivor

Jennifer is a very recent ARDS survivor. Twenty-four year old Jennifer just got sick on March 4, 2003. She developed what she thought was the flu and when to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. Once there, they learned that her oxygen level was only 62%. After two days, t [...]

Monique Levesque – ARDS Survivor

Forty-three year old Monique went to sleep on December 20, 2002, and when she awoke, it was January, 2003 and she was in another city. She was confused and terrified. She saw her sister, Patsy, who she had not seen in seven years, who lived in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Monique lives in Whitehorse, Y [...]

Alan Moses – ARDS Survivor

  Forty-nine year old Alan Moses had a series of medical tests in July 1995; afterwards, he was admitted to Presbyterian hospital in Philadelphia for a cardiac catheterization. It was five months prior to Alan’s 50th birthday. Unfortunately, the cath results were that Alan needed an immediate q [...]

Marlene Harris – ARDS Survivor

Marlene was born and raised on the West Coast in the United States. In l995, Marlene was diagnosed with PBC, an autoimmune disease, which attacks the immune system and destroys the liver. There is no cure for PBC, except a liver transplant. Marlene decided to change her life and enjoy her family to [...]

Gary Chasles, Sr. – In Memoriam

Gary Sr. had become a father in 1972 at the age of 18 years and worked nearly everyday thereafter. He worked so much that he was rarely home, but never once did he complain. In 1989, after being in construction since 1972, he was involved in a head on collision with a drunk driver while riding his H [...]

Sheryll Graham – ARDS Survivor

On November 18, 1998, forty-two year old Sherryll went into the hospital for a revision of her intestines.  She had been having problems from an earlier surgery, from 1990. Although the surgery went well, three days later, Sherryll became very ill and was unable to keep fluids down. Her doctor disco [...]

Michelle Renee Duffy – In Memoriam

Jackie’s sister, Michelle was in a car accident on April 6, 2003, she was hit on the passenger side of the car, broadsided. She was living in Arizona and Jackie was living in California. When Jackie received the call, it did not look good; Michelle’s injuries were a broken collarbone, chin bone, hum [...]

Pastor Ian Robb – ARDS Survivor

I was reading some of the ARDS stories and came to my own version of events in the life of an ARDS victim. I thought, the ending is no longer current, and so I have amended it, brought it up to date. I offer it to you, the reader, as a light to those who may need some encouragement in their own stor [...]

Bob Jayroe – ARDS Survivor

It all started for Bob Jayroe on May 25 in Palo Alto, CA with a sore throat when he was working with Lockheed Martin on a NASA/JAXA funded solar telescope project. Bob waited to get home and see if it would get worse or go away. Since it did not go away, Bob went to his doctor and was treated me wit [...]

Lizzy Ball – ARDS Survivor

Elizabeth I. Ball, fifty-four years old, attended a wedding in on November 2, 2002. She was having acute stomach pain. While driving home the next day, Lizzy was cramping the entire time. When she got home, she began to throw up and she was doubled over in pain. Her family decided to take Lizzy to t [...]

Jeffrey Rogers – ARDS Survivor

Jeffrey Rogers, 45 years old, lives in Modesto,CA. On Thursday, January 31, 2002, Jeffrey went to the doctor for injections into my back to relieve the pain from three ruptured discs. He watched as the doctor came in the room where they were prepping him; the doctor was eating, sandwich in hand and [...]

Jackson – ARDS Survivor

13-month old Jackson was diagnosed with ARDS on August 3, 2002, at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, AL. The day before, he was a normal 13-month-old little boy. Jackson was staying with Jennifer’s sister while Jennifer went to a wedding rehearsal and became very sick. Upon her return, Jennifer sug [...]

Stephanie Linebaugh – ARDS Survivor

In September, 2003, Stephanie Linebaugh had been training all summer with three other teammates for the 24-hour urban adventure race, The Wild Onion. About a week before the race, Stephanie noticed that she was feeling unusually ill. Her boyfriend, now husband, Chuck, told twenty-eight year old Step [...]

Deb Kuhn – ARDS Survivor

Deb’s life was no busier than any wife, mother of two and part-time manager of career consulting for a major bank in Chicago. Throughout the winter, her three mile workout, three times a week was no different than her run on Thursday, March 28, 2002 at age 41. On Friday, Deb had a high fever, persis [...]

Cyndy Villegas – ARDS Survivor

Thirty-six year old Cyndy Villegas was just returning to college after spending 13 years at home raising her daughter. Cyndy was into her third semester of studies when she learned that she needed to have her ovaries removed. She already had her uterus removed five years earlier due to endometriosis [...]

Rhonda Hager – ARDS Survivor

Rhonda said it was just another typical day for her on July 25, 2002,: she did some laundry and then went to work as a flight nurse for a major hospital in St. Louis, MO. Although that day was rough at work, as they had three traumas, and Rhonda felt quite tired, but did put too much thought into it [...]

Nicole Milbury – ARDS Survivor

Twenty seven year old Nicole Milbury entered the world of ARDS Aug. 9, 2002. She went to the hospital, in labor with her second child; they had to do an emergency C-section due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby several times. Post C-section, every thing appeared to be fine, until t [...]

Emma Johnson – ARDS Survivor

Forty-six year old Emma Johnson, who lives in a small, southern town in Georgia, has been married for twenty years to Jack, and has two dogs, who are spoiled rotten. By the way, she is an ARDS Survivor. In late March 2002, she was healthy, albeit overweight, and planning a surprise 50th birthday par [...]

Mike Tufarella – In Memoriam

Capt. Mike Tufarella, Survived by sister Toni Rockefeller. On February 15, 2003, Toni’s thirty-six year old brother, Mike Tufarella, was admitted to a local hospital on Long Island for what he thought was an extremely bad flu. He had chest pains and literally could not walk. Within 3 days, he was di [...]

Cynthia Gardiner – ARDS Survivor

On April 5, 2002, Cynthia went to the ER after suffering severe abdominal pain for about 5 hours. She was diagnosed with kidney stones and a system-wide infection, which eventually turned into sepsis, a toxic condition resulting from the spread of bacteria from an infected site resulting from a bloc [...]

Sarah Elizabeth Hoffman Teal – In Memoriam

Survived by ARDS Family member Wendy Wendy remembers it just as clearly as if it was today. It was a Thursday evening and she was on her way out the door; she went to check on her mother, Sarah, and she said that she said she couldn’t hear or see Wendy. She was asking who she was and what she wanted [...]

Diane Rasa – ARDS Survivor

Diane, a 37-year-old woman married to a wonderful man for the past 3 years, has a 10-year-old daughter from her previous marriage and a 23-year-old stepdaughter; everyone welcomed their new baby brother in March of 2002. Diane’s pregnancy was fairly routine and because of her age, she had all of the [...]

Sandra Bell Meyer – ARDS Survivor

Thirty-six year old Sandra Bell Meyer remembers that her first symptom to her ARDS odyssey was swelling in her right eye. It was June of 2001 and she did not go back to work after that day. She went to her family physician four time times in a week, but they could not find any elevations in blood co [...]

Jeralyn Hines – ARDS Survivor

On October 20, 2001, Jeralyn Hines had a terrible headache. Although her had 102 degree fever, the next morning, she went to work. Two hours later, Jeralyn’s head hurt so badly she could not think or see; her chest and back hurt and a coworker brought her to the emergency room where she discovered h [...]

Rhonda Bova – ARDS Survivor

On March 28, 2001, Rhonda Bova awoke with terrible stomach cramping. Rhonda went to the emergency room at Riverside Methodist Hospital where she was told she needed to have an emergency appendectomy which took place at 11:30 PM on the 28th. Though the surgery went well, within forty-eight hours, Rho [...]

Tina – ARDS Survivor

Tina, from Westminster, MD is a two time ARDS survivor. At the age of, 41, Tina went to the hospital on June 1, 2001, for what was to be fairly routine surgery: a stomach hernia. Unfortunately, Tina developed a staph infection which was not adequately treated and then developed both bacterial and fu [...]

JeanMarie – ARDS Survivor

JeanMarie is a 49 year old physical therapist who was working in two school district where she caught the usual colds from the kids. She was a previously healthy woman who had never smoked. On February 1, 2001, she went to school with a mild cold but came home coughing, with shortness of breath. Tha [...]

Patrick Cuff – ARDS Survivor

In May 2001, 41 year old Patrick Cuff had an accident. He was 35 feet up in a tree when a large piece he was cutting fell the wrong way and took him with it. It was a 500 lb piece that Patrick’s brother lifted off him, simultaneously pulling Patrick out of the way. Patrick was taken to Harborview Me [...]

Family Member of Jack Vasconino – In Memoriam

In June, 2000, thirty-five year old Jack, went into respiratory arrest and was diagnosed with ARDS. Jack had a drug problem for many, many years and overdosed on heroin. His lungs had become so hardened and congested. The wonderful staff at University of Michigan saved him after nearly one month in [...]

John Manikowski – ARDS Survivor

John Manikowski says that “It” all started with back surgery–which was, in the end, successful–at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, in western Massachusetts. On May 9, 2001, at the age of fifty-eight, John had his surgery; three days later, he was unconscious. After testing John for pneumonia, [...]

Amanda Tissen – ARDS Survivor

On February 7, 2001, Amanda Tissen was broadsided by two car thieves who had stolen a vehicle and were running from the police. Although her husband only suffered whiplash and bruising, thirty-eight year old Amanda was trapped in the vehicle for about an hour until the fire department was able to fr [...]

Karen Linen – ARDS Survivor

Karen’s story begins in April, 2000 when she was forty-two years old. Karen was the President of her children’s high school PTA and was having a meeting at her home. As a nurse epidemiologist for the Army, Karen was called during the meeting by her boss to meet her in the ER because soldiers were vo [...]

Louise Montgomery – ARDS Survivor

Louise Montgomery suffered a fractured ankle in May, 2000. She was getting ready to return to work in June 12, 2000, but needed a Return To Work slip from her PCP, Louise and her sister went to see him. Fifty-two year old Louise had been feeling fine, except for a minor cough. She brought this to hi [...]

Penny Kraemer – ARDS Survivor

On January 20, 2000, nineteen-year-old Penny took an overdose of prescription medication. When Penny was having her stomach pumped at a local hospital, the charcoal, along with a staph infection, went into her lungs. That night, she was flown to UW Madison hospital. Penny was put into a drug induce [...]

Gene Bass’ Mom – ARDS Survivor

In January of 2000, Gene Bass heard the term “ARDS” for the first time in his life. It was one week after his Mom Geri had been admitted to the hospital for flu like symptoms. Her doctors told us she only had a 10% chance of surviving. Gene was with his Mom when she was told that she would have to b [...]

Gerald – In Memoriam

After dating for five years, Gerald and Mary decided to get married. On September 18, 2009, the happy couple married. Gerald was 31 years old; Mary was 29 years old. Their life’s beginning was picture perfect. After a wonderful honeymoon to Aruba, the couple ended up in the emergency room in Perth A [...]

Courtney Shelstad – In Memoriam

Courtney was the perfect daughter. She was loving, caring, sensitive, giving, unselfish, beautiful, trustworthy, and athletic. For having just turned seventeen, she was mature beyond her years. Courtney was very popular, not only with the “in” crowd, but with everyone else. She would search out lone [...]

Stephen R. Yarnall, M.D. – ARDS Survivor

On January 28, 2000, Stephen and his wife Lynn were skiing at Mt. Rose, near Reno, Nevada. As a 66-year old cardiologist, Stephen was in pretty good shape. Stephen enjoyed a vigorous first ski run and was starting another. Without explanation, about 100 yards up the lift, he fainted, had seizure-lik [...]

Dan Bennett – ARDS Survivor

Dan Bennett @ age 40 In October 1999, Dan and his wife had just had their first son, Edward, who was delivered by C-section; it was a very painful and trying time his wife. About a week after she got out of the hospital, he noticed that he was coming down with a cold. Thinking he had the flu, Dan sl [...]

Shelia Haefling – In Memoriam

Shelia Haefling called July 30, 1999, the “Darkest Day of My Life.” It was on that day that she stopped breathing; it was her second round with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Shelia first ARDS diagnosis was in 1996. She had been smoker for thirty years and could not stop. The smoking led to il [...]

Family Member of Donna Hild – ARDS Survivor

In April, 1999, Donna and Richard’s nineteen year old daughter Amy was feeling run down. When she went to the doctor, she was told she had mono and she should rest. But she began to have trouble breathing. Within the next week, they were at the emergency room three times. The last time at the ER, Am [...]

Dee Storey, ARDS Survivor

Dee’s ARDS experience began on April 14, 2000, with an emergency call to 911. Until this time, Dee had been in good health, working as a professor of teacher education at Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Michigan, for fourteen years. By Sunday, April 16, Dee was a critical care patient stru [...]

Marybeth Monaghen – In Memoriam

Marybeth Monaghen – Survived by her sister Paula Blonski. In May 1998 Marybeth Monaghen went to the hospital to have an ovary removed after it had been causing her trouble for years. After the surgery, Marybeth came home from the hospital and began to receive in home health care to attend to her wou [...]

Kim – ARDS Survivor

Kim’s ARDS story began on Sunday November 13th,1994. She was enjoying a Sunday afternoon, where she lived in Alabama, with family and friends. They were cooking out and watching the kids ride on the four wheelers. Kim was married at the time and her son was in the first grade. But she was just not f [...]

Linda Root – ARDS Survivor

On January 31, 1995, Linda Root’s husband took her to St. Clare’s Emergency Room in Schenectady, N.Y. Linda had been ill all weekend, but didn’t think too much about it; she had not been running a fever. That Tuesday, she saw bugs crawling on the ceiling and was coughing up blood, which terrified he [...]

Ray Binder – In Memoriam

Jackie and Ray Binder were married on his 60th birthday, August 12, 1993, in Sedona, Arizona. They had known each other for about 30 years as they had worked together at the North Las Vegas Fire Department, she as the chief’s administrative assistant and he as a fire captain.  After Ray took an earl [...]