The average survival of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is between three and five years after diagnosis, and only 20% of them survive past this time. Like many others, Anita Hatfield struggled for three years with the disease and died last March from complications related to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Now, her husband, Jim Hatfield, is determined to not let her legacy die with her.
The husband was recently featured on the local TV news program “That’s Lancashire”, in which he was classified as a man on a mission. Jim Hatfield, who cared for Anita and watched her health deteriorate because of the disease, said that doctors first noticed scarring in her lungs in the 1980’s. However, it was not until 2013, after she experienced breathlessness during a routine walk that the physicians diagnosed her IPF, a progressive lung disease for which there is currently no cure.
Anita’s husband has now tried to recreate Anita’s steps in order to raise awareness for lung diseases like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. “Anita always made it very clear that you must walk in her footsteps to understand the illness, which from my experience of three years was a very, very cruel illness,” Jim Hatfield starts by saying. “There approximately 200 variations of lung disease, which before three years ago, I knew very little about.”
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