Help From a ‘World-Class Team’

Don Schrader of Cheyenne, Wyoming, worked long hours near the World Trade Center site after 9/11 as part of a Federal Disaster Team. He had no idea that his work there would lead to years of lung problems.

When Don returned from three-and-a-half weeks in New York to Cheyenne, he had bronchitis and was having difficulty swallowing. He went to see his local doctor who told him that his oxygen was low.

Over the next few years, Don continued to struggle with bronchitis, shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing. His doctor suggested he go to National Jewish Health, where he saw Gregory Cosgrove, MD, as part of his evaluation in the Interstitial Lung Disease Program.

Dr. Cosgrove worked with Don’s doctor in Cheyenne on a treatment plan, but Don’s symptoms persisted.

Don saw Dr. Cosgrove again, who ran a battery of tests and took a biopsy of Don’s lung. He determined that Don had interstitial lung disease (ILD), a broad category of more than 130 lung diseases that cause scarring and inflammation. National Jewish Health is a world leader in the care and research of these conditions and sees more ILD patients than any other medical center in the country.

Dr. Cosgrove determined that dust particles from the World Trade Center site triggered Don’s ILD. Occupational and environmental exposures, such as dusts, gases and fumes, are known causes of ILD.

He prescribed oxygen and a more aggressive drug regimen, which has stopped the progression of Don’s condition. Dr. Cosgrove continues to collaborate with Don’s doctors in Cheyenne and sees Don once a year in Denver.

Thanks to the care he is receiving at National Jewish Health, Don is able to enjoy life with his family, including two grandchildren.

“I am miles ahead because I got the help that I needed from a world-class team,” Don said. “I am fortunate to have National Jewish Health.”

 

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