LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - PH is the abbreviation for pulmonary hypertension. It's a form of heart disease that can affect all age groups and all ethnicities.
But how serious is it?
A woman was diagnosed five and a half years ago with pulmonary hypertension. She's a miracle because the life expectancy after diagnosis is three years. The first two years were miserable, she said.
"And the third year i put my foot down and said 'I'm not gonna do this anymnore,'" she said. "I'm gonna find something. And I wanted to get a pulmonary hypertension specialist in Arkansas, so it's a dream come true."
Dr. Muhammad Waqas is her dream come true.
"Actually it is more common than you thought," Dr. Waqas said.
"Especially in places like Arkansas," Dr, Waqas said. "It has not been diagnosed or treated as much."
The shortness of breath, the fatigue are early symptoms of PH that are similar to other cardiac conditions.
"And that is where the real work of the specialist comes into play," Dr. Waqas said.
And Dr. Waqas is the specialist Arkansas so badly needed because when Thekla was diagnosed it was like a death sentence.
"My nurse that had been taking care of me came into my room and she was crying and at that moment I said, 'no, uh. This isn't gonna get me.'"
And it hasn't she is now a support group leader for other patients with PH.
"No one should go through what I went through for five years, nobody," Thekla said.
It's why she is ever thankful that Dr. Waqas came along when he did. Again,
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