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.