About Heather By Josh Phillips
In 1999, I met the most amazing girl. I knew I wanted to marry her the first moment I met her. It was not until 2006 that I had the chance to convince her that we should get married. Even though we have had some hard times, we have the most amazing life together.
We are the parents of two beautiful children. Corbin was born in 2010. He is our little stud, always helping his mom any way he can. His laugh is the best sound in the world. Our baby girl, Keira, was born last year. She is a little princess, whose smiles fill our hearts with joy.
Recently we have been dealt some devastating news. Heather, the love of my life, has been diagnosed with a incurable disease called constrictive bronchiolitis. This is the same disease that caused the heart problems that took her brother’s life in 2003. This is a very rare disease that most pulmonologists rarely see in their careers, let alone two cases in siblings.
This horrible disease snuck up on us. At the end of her pregnancy with Keira, Heather was having trouble breathing. I took her to the emergency room, where her oxygen levels were markedly low. Yet, the doctors were convinced that it was due to the pregnancy and told us that Heather’s health would return to normal once the baby was born. My wife couldn’t convince them that she knew something was wrong. After she gave birth to our healthy daughter, she continued to have symptoms. She underwent a lung biopsy, and it was a few months before the pulmonologist diagnosed Heather with contrictive bronchiolitis. At first, Heather was prescribed steroids in hopes of keeping the disease at bay for a few years. Unfortunately, a scan showed that her lungs were rapidly getting worse. The doctors advised Heather that she needed to move forward with applying to qualify for a double lung transplant. Today, Heather is on a waiting list for new lungs. Doctors say it could just be a matter of months before there is a suitable match.
Heather knows first-hand the cruelty of the disease. She has seen it take her brother due to complications from the transplant he recived. She is facing a major surgery and each day brings new challenges. Even so, she remains positive about the future. She wants to be able to play with children without being tethered to an oxygen tank. She will gladly relinquish her handicap parking pass, happy to be done with the stares and the accusations from strangers. She wants to walk around the grocery store without losing her breathe. She wants to be active again.
It is painful to witness her struggle. I’m so proud of her strength and courage. She is an inspiration to me, her children, family and friends.
Unfortunately, I’m worried that I won’t be able to make ends meet and my wife and children will suffer for it. I have a good job and medical insurance. But the reality is the surgery that Heather needs to save her life and lasting medical expenses will outweigh our annual income. The medical bills already are piling up.
I work hard to be a good husband. Heather is an amazing wife and mother. I can’t imagine my life without her. We love and cherish each other and our children. For this reason, I’m asking you to keep us in your prayers, and as hard as this is, I’m also asking for your donations.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.