Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A South Carolina Honor Flight

On Veterans Day we posted a story about Peter D., a World War II veteran from New York who recently visited our nation’s capital as part of the Honor Flight. Andy M of Dalzell, South Carolina sent us a wonderful story and photo from his recent Honor Flight trip this past September…

Andy is a veteran of the Korean War, and a few years ago received an invitation to visit Washington, D.C. for the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. At that time he was unable to go, but when Honor Flight extended a second invitation earlier this year he happily accepted the opportunity.

Andy got on his flight from Columbia, South Carolina at 6 AM with his portable oxygen concentrator in hand. Once he landed, his group was greeted, given breakfast, and was boarded onto their tour buses to begin their day. “The trip went so well. They had assistants who pushed some of us around in wheelchairs and took real good care of us,” says Andy. His group visited the Korean War Veterans Memorial and many other monuments around Washington, D.C.  Additionally they stopped at Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects to their fallen comrades.

That evening on his return home, his tour group was welcomed back by groups of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and members of the Honor Guard. It was a great way to end the trip. “It was a very nice day and my portable oxygen concentrator took good care of me. This 86 years old boy thanks you for taking care of him with your service.” Open-Aire is very happy for the opportunity to have helped Andy out on his Honor Flight trip, and we thank him for his service to our country.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

More Walks For Her, Less Work For Him

Mobility can be a problem for many COPD patients, and Sandra F. of Wilsonville, Oregon is no different. As part of her treatment, Sandra’s doctor encouraged her to go out for walks to help her improve her lung capacity as well as for exercise. However, walking was extremely difficult for her because she would have to lug around one of her oxygen tanks. The only way she could walk was to go without her tank, and this was physically trying for her. The result was that she had to limit her walks to one short one a day.

Now that she has a portable oxygen concentrator that’s not a concern anymore. She goes out three times a day or more now. "I walk a couple blocks at a time. I go to the area of the apartment complex where there are benches and talk with my friends.  I can even take my dogs out because I can hold their leash instead of the tanks," says Sandra. Her portable oxygen concentrator is lightweight, and the batteries last for hours so she can stay outside and keep walking for as long as she likes.

As much as Sandra likes her portable oxygen concentrator her husband Jay may like it even more. Prior to switching to a portable concentrator, Sandra used liquid oxygen, and those tanks only lasted her an hour and a half. It was Jay’s job to refill those tanks. Because they lasted such a short length of time it was a job that kept him busy. Over the course of a day he could fill up as many as a dozen bottles for Sandra. Jay is very happy that Sandra has so much more mobility now, and he loves not having to fill up those liquid oxygen tanks!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Keeping It In The Family

Deborah J. of Proctor, MN has been an Open-Aire customer for several years, and has been quick to recommend portable oxygen concentrators to her friends and family. Not long ago her twin sister, Teresa, was prescribed oxygen. When Teresa decided she wanted a portable concentrator Deborah knew right where to send her, and by coincidence both sisters worked with the same Open-Aire Case Manager.

Deborah is a big proponent of freedom and mobility that portable concentrators provide. She says, "If it wasn't for my portable oxygen concentrator, I would just be sitting at home." Fortunately she does have one so she’s constantly on the go. She and her fiancĂ© have a camper and they put it to good use. They travel all over visiting different cities and landmarks in Utah, the Dakotas, and of course Teresa who lives about an hour and a half away.

Being able to travel so easily allows for a busy holiday season. Deborah has many options for Thanksgiving this year. She has family throughout Minnesota and North Dakota, and has received several invitations. With her portable oxygen concentrator, she can go anywhere she wants and trying to schedule oxygen service doesn’t have to be a part of her travel preparation. Whether she is with her kids or with her twin sister, she will be mobile enough to enjoy the holiday to its fullest.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Veteran in Washington

Last month we posted a story to our blog about World War II veteran and Open-Aire customer Peter D. When we last spoke with him he was looking forward to an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C.  Peter, who had never been to Washington, D.C. before, has since taken his trip, and we checked back in with him to see how it went.

The day-long trip started very early in the morning with Peter and 65 other veterans leaving from Syracuse, NY at dawn. When they arrived at the airport in Washington, D.C. they were greeted by 500 people with flags.  One woman gave him a quilted blanket. Red roses were given to each soldier. And an Irish choral group of 8 people sang the songs of the Army, Navy, and Marine and finished with God Bless America. 

As they left the airport they boarded a bus with a police escort and the veterans’ tour began. They were taken to the Lincoln Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and many other monuments.  It was a day packed full of sight-seeing, but Peter was ready for it. “My portable oxygen concentrator took care of me all day long. I got on the airplane with it with no problem at all. The tour organizers even charged the batteries for me while I was on the bus.”

It was certainly a full day, and by late afternoon it was winding down. Peter and the other veterans were taken back to the airport and embarked on a flight back home to New York. “I don’t know how Honor Flight did it,” says Peter. “They had our schedule pinned down to the last minute. Everything was perfect. It was a beautiful day. Wherever we went we had the best seats and the best views. And the whole day we were surrounded by well-wishers.”

We are very happy that Peter enjoyed his Honor Flight trip so much, and hope he enjoys Veterans Day as well. He certainly deserves it. We would also like to thank Honor Flight for making this trip possible for Peter and so many of our other heroes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

She's Never at Home!

Earlier this year Virginia M. of Clinton, NY was prescribed oxygen for her COPD. Her oxygen provider gave her a large concentrator and a supply of oxygen tanks that were too bulky for her to manage. Going out with the tanks was difficult for Virginia. They were heavy, and they never seemed to last for as long as they were supposed to. The shortages made it too hard for her to plan for trips outside of her home. She started to become frustrated and didn't know what to do. "I didn't know if any alternative existed. I thought that's all there was," says Virginia. Without seeing any other options she ended up staying at home all the time and started to become depressed.

Fortunately, one day Virginia saw a commercial for portable oxygen concentrators from Open-Aire. After a phone call with Open-Aire, Virginia was able to get the information she needed, and her pulmonary doctor helped with the paperwork she needed. A short time later she received her equipment, and she and her doctor are both very pleased with the results since making the switch.

Now that Virginia has a portable oxygen concentrator she goes out more than she did, even before being prescribed oxygen. She takes trips to the mall, the casino, the grocery store, goes out to lunch with her sister, and is taking full advantage of being mobile again. In fact, her son Frank has trouble keeping track of her. According to him, "now that she has her portable concentrator, she’s never at home!"

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tour of Honor

Peter D. of New York is a 90-year-old veteran of World War II, and a true American hero. Later this month, Peter will be joining a group of veterans on a trip to Washington, D.C. for Honor Flight, a group that transports our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit the monuments and reflect at their memorials. The trip could have been much more difficult for him though, because earlier this year Peter was prescribed oxygen due to his Pulmonary Fibrosis

Even at 90 he’s still very active. He does his own shopping, goes out on drives, and visits his friends in the neighborhood. So when he was prescribed oxygen it was a difficult change. He found his entire set-up of tanks and concentrators to be very difficult to use. “You have to be an engineer to hook them up. You have to wait for delivery. And you can’t take them on a plane,” says Peter.

Fortunately Peter learned about Open-Aire soon afterwards, and he was able to get a new portable oxygen concentrator. Now Peter’s trip to DC will be much easier. “The portable oxygen concentrator does everything for me. It lasts me all day. I can take it on a plane. It even reminds me to breathe the right way.

We thank Peter for his service, and we’ll be sure to check in with him again to see how he enjoyed his Honor Flight trip.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Going Back to the Theme Park

Carolyn S. of Wylie, TX was put on oxygen earlier this spring after she went to the hospital for a bout of pneumonia. The provider her doctor set her up did not make things easy for her. She was given a basic set-up that included heavy tanks and a large concentrator. Walking with the tanks was very difficult and it made leaving the house a real chore. Within two months they had to switch out her concentrator three times because they kept breaking.

The last straw came when she tried to go to Six Flags Over Texas with her family. Her provider couldn't give her lightweight equipment, and the oxygen tanks she had were so heavy that she eventually had to leave them in the car. The results were not good. “I tried to walk around without the tanks for a little while, and I nearly passed out” says Carolyn. It was a difficult situation for her to be in, and she decided she needed a better solution. If she had to be on oxygen she wanted to do it on her terms.

So she approached her doctor about a lightweight portable concentrator from Open-Aire, and after working with an Open-Aire Case Manager he agreed it would be better for her. On her next visit to her doctor she was able to easily walk into the office and was breathing without any trouble. Everyone agreed she made the right decision by choosing Open-Aire. Now Carolyn has the confidence to go back out and live life the same way she used to. “I'm already planning on going back to Six Flags again, and this time I'll be able to use my portable concentrator and stay as long as I want.”