A retired lecturer from South Normanton with chronic breathing problems has gone online to help fellow sufferers breathe more easily.
Phil Smith (64) has written a blog for the British Lung Foundation (BLF) to give practical advice to patients with conditions including bronchitis and emphysema.
Phil was persuaded to get writing by BLF project development officer Emma Percy, who felt he was well placed to reach out to others as chair of the brand new Breathe Easy Hardwick South Group.
The group is one of 240 run nationwide by the BLF to support people with a lung condition and those who care for them.
Breathe Easy Hardwick South officially launched last Wednesday at the Post Mill Centre, Market Street, South Normanton. Guest speaker was world-renowned Professor Richard Hubbard, professor of respiratory epidemiology at Nottingham City Hospital. The meeting was attended by people with lung conditions, and those who care for them. There were light refreshments, a quiz and raffle plus lots of help and advice on managing conditions successfully.
Phil was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) three years ago, and attributes his condition to smoking, looking after fancy pigeons, and years spent working in the construction industry before going into education.
He no longer smokes, and uses an inhaler, steroids and nasal spray to control his symptoms.
Phil said: “I get out of breath sometimes but have my rescue medicines for when things get bad. Some days, I can do most of what I want but on bad days I can do little, and walking up hills is always difficult.
“People with COPD can sometimes feel isolated and not know where to turn for help. That’s where Breathe Easy groups come in as an invaluable source of friendship, advice and support.”
Before retiring four years ago, Phil lectured in and managed the delivery of construction at West Nottinghamshire College, Mansfield. He has been married to Lyn for 40 years, has one son and a granddaughter.
To find out more about Breathe Easy Hardwick South, call Phil on 07540 859354.
You can read his blog at blog.blf.org.uk/2014/04/breathing-more-easily-in-hardwick