VCD Sidelined Runner Lexi Beggan Until She Found National Jewish Health


Doctor after doctor could not diagnose the pain Lexi Beggan felt when she was running. She couldn’t finish a race. Things changed when she found pulmonologist Tod Olin, MD. Watch how Lexi got her life back on track with the right diagnosis.
 

 


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Transcript

Alexis Beggan: My name is Lexi Beggan, I'm 16. I like running-

Alexis Beggan: Especially coming downhill. It kind of makes me feel like I'm flying. My identity definitely was as a runner, until the pain started. In the races, I'd make it a mile or two before the pain would start with this tingling
in my arms. It was a severe burning pain in my stomach.

Alexis Beggan: By the time I had to drop out, I was usually in tears.

Alexis Beggan: The doctors couldn't tell me what was going on. They had a few suggestions, we did a lot of testing-

Alexis Beggan: They had no idea, or the test results came back negative.

Alexis Beggan: There was one doctor who pretty much told me it was all in my head. You kind of start to believe it, and it is a tough time. It's kind of hard to look back on, considering.

Alexis Beggan: I was like, really depressed, and I didn't really wanna ... I didn't really wanna keep on living, so. Yeah.

Alexis Beggan: My coach saw an article in the Daily Camera, and he sent us an email, saying, "Do you think it could be this VCD thing?"

Dr. Olin: During VCD, or vocal chord dysfunction attacks, the vocal cords partially or totally close, causing terrifying shortness of breath. So, when we brought Lexi in, we were trying to recreate what was happening in real life.

Dr. Olin: When Lexi's throat was closing, it was tremendously difficult to breathe, and then downstream of that, as she started to breathe faster and faster-

Dr. Olin: Some of those other symptoms were popping up, like the chest pain.

Dr. Olin: You got this!

Shana Beggan: You got this! Push, push, push, you got it!

Shana Beggan: It gets to the end, and she is spent. And he looked ecstatic.

Shana Beggan: And he said, "I think we're gonna be able to help your daughter. I'm confident. I'm confident."

Shana Beggan: We walked out, and she just turns, and she's bawling. She's like, "Mom-"

Shana Beggan: "I might have an answer. They might have the answer." And it was like somebody gave me my kid back, you know?

Shana Beggan: She raced the open race, and she raced, I think it was 330 girls.

Shana Beggan: And she took fifth. She hadn't even been able to finish a race, and now she took fifth.

Shana Beggan: For our family, you have changed our lives.

Shana Beggan: And you have given my daughter hope, and her smile is returned. And from the bottom of our heart, we sincerely thank you.

Alexis Beggan: My hope kinda soared. Maybe, I could have that dream that I've always hoped for.

Alexis Beggan: National Jewish Health has gotten me back on track. I can't wait for the next season.


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