Monday, February 8

A Gift of Hope

I am touched, humbled, and reminded of my faith in humanity. This gentleman's wife, a long-time patient of ours, recently passed from PH. When I explained to the Pittsburgh Patient Support Group that extreme altitude will actually cause PH in the climbers and that at the summit we anticipate our O2 sats to be in the low to mid 80s, he volunteered to lend his late wife's pulse ox to us. It has more than average sentimental value for him. In order for her to spend her last hours with her husband coherent and awake, she refused morphine and used this pulse ox as a security blanket... she was reassured when she saw her O2 sat was not dropping.

Dr. Benza and I are extremely appreciative that he is entrusting us with such an emotionally valuable item. Not only will it help us document the altitude-induced lack of oxygen, but also, it shares the experience and purpose with one of our cherished patients. She, like so many other patients with PH, will be up there with us.


  1. I know this was an emotional event with lending this pulse ox. But we all know how it will help you with what you and the doctors are doing. This gentle man shared those emotions; he is proud that it will be done in his wife's memory.
    He also sent me a link for the program on KDKA and it is now posted on the Pittsburgh site. -- when you bookmark it it comes out a lot smaller.
    I think the snow we are now having is just a sample of what you will meet and greet on the mountain. I'm anxious for spring.

  2. Hi Merle. Thank you for passing on the KDKA link. As I am sure you have seen, I was able to take a screen shot and crop a picture (which i posted) and applied the link to the actual video. ...just takes a little teamwork....