Pulmonary fibrosis took my father and a piece of my heart. My father, Jaime Cuesta, was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in January 2005, when he was sixty-seven years old.
He was a patient with advanced prostate cancer. After many tests, and because he complained a lot of difficulty breathing and chest pains for which asthma was supposedly to blame, he was diagnosed with the illness. It is incredible that the diagnosis did not alarm me. There is very little information around. It was not until after I researched it on the internet, and especially on this site, that I was aware of the terrible reality.
Immediately after the diagnosis my father started to go downhill. He could not breathe. He had a persistent cough day and night and he was dependent on oxygen, which was incredible since he used to be very active and strong in spite of cancer. It was really hard to see him like that, but nonetheless I thought that the illness was not going to take him from me, at least not so soon. After many admissions into the hospital and after he fought and gave us hope, he left on April 18th, 2005, after only fifteen days in the ICU!
In the intensive care unit (ICU), he was surrounded by all of his children, and our mother and also for many relatives and friends that really supported our family in this terrible moment.In spite of all the tubes and sedatives, I believe he heard everything we said to him, he knew we were there with him all the time. I have no consolation left. I cannot understand why it is so hard to diagnose this illness. Maybe if he had been diagnosed earlier he would have been able to spend more time with us. My father never smoked or drank, so why a pulmonary disease?
In spite of my sadness, I feel better when I think of all the people who are trying to find a cure and help people that are affected by it. To everyone who posts stories here, thank you! Perhaps you will not believe how many times I have read them trying to find consolation or a hint to the progress of my father's illness, both when he was here and after he left.
Thank you very much. Keep on fighting for your beloved ones and give them all your love. Hopefully in the future we will not have to see anyone else suffer because of this terrible illness that left a family destroyed because we lost an exemplary father, husband, grandfather, and most of all a beloved friend.
Email: [email protected]
Story edited 06-23-06 JTD
Story posted 08-04-06 SLE
Revision posted 08-11-06 SLE
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Translator: Alba León
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
Survivor Stories (In Memory)
(Español/Spanish) B.C.: Hija de Paciente con Fibrosis Pulmonal
Alba León is the ISN Translator for this page. She is studying international relations in Mexico City.
SCLERO.ORG is the world leader for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses, such as pulmonary hypertension. We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to: