NBC2 has featured the story of pulmonary fibrosis patient John McDaniel since June. Now, McDaniel has received an incredible gift that will enable him to play his favorite sport pickleball more easily.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition that is characterized by scarring of the lungs. This damage stops the lungs from working properly, leading to breathing issues.
The major symptom of pulmonary fibrosis is shortness of breath, which progressively gets worse as the lungs continue to scar. Other symptoms include dry cough, fatigue, aches in the muscles and joints, unexplained weight loss, and the clubbing of fingers and toes.
Complications may arise due to this condition as well. Common complications include high blood pressure in the lungs, respiratory failure, failure of the right side of the heart, lung cancer, blood clots in the lungs, lung infections, or a collapsed lung.
There is no way to reverse the damage done by pulmonary fibrosis. Doctors may prescribe medications, such as pirfenidone or nintedanib, to slow the progression. Oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation do not slow the progression, but they can improve the function of the lungs and reduce some of the symptoms. In very severe cases a lung transplant may be necessary.
John McDaniel’s Story
Florida resident John McDaniel’s decided not to let his pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis stop him from participating in the things he loves. Even though his disease affects his lungs, McDaniel’s has continued to play pickleball. While he plays he wears an oxygen tank on his back, but that has not slowed down his performance. In fact, he recently won a bronze medal in the US Open Pickleball Championships.
After his story was originally covered on an NBC2 segment, McDaniel’s has received an abundance of support and praise from family, friends, and even strangers. One person particularly connected with his story, and that person is Tony Peters.
A New Device
Tony Peters is also diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, and he has invented a device that will help those with the disease. His invention is called the InMotion Oxygen Vest and it is a more convenient and comfortable way for pulmonary fibrosis patients to breathe. The vest is lightweight, fast-drying, stable, and it allows its users to freely move their arms and upper body. McDaniel’s story inspired Peters to gift him one of his InMotion Oxygen Vests to help him on and off the court. The two have since become friends, bonding over their same diagnosis and shared love for pickleball.