A Sheffield resident is encouraging people to take their lung health seriously, this World COPD Day.
Terry Schofield, aged 80, is supporting the British Lung Foundation’s campaign, after the charity revealed that millions of people across the UK have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - but don’t even know it.
Coal miner Terry went to a chest clinic in Sheffield after being plagued with a constant cough in the 1960s. His diagnosis meant he had to give up his job.
COPD is the name used to describe a number of conditions, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. 115,000 people are diagnosed with COPD each year, but that’s just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ according to the BLF’s Chief Executive.
Dr Penny Woods said: “COPD isn’t just a smokers’ disease. People with long-term asthma, or those exposed to air pollution and fumes are also vulnerable.
“We’re aware of 1.2 million diagnosed with the condition but that’s the tip of the iceberg. Millions have this life-limiting lung disease, and they don’t even know it.”
World COPD Day is being used to raise awareness of other possible symptoms, such as having a cough that lasts a long time, wheezing in cold weather, and producing more mucus or phlegm than usual.
Terry turned his life around after his devastating diagnosis of Bronchiectasis, and now exercises five or six times a week. Keeping well isn’t just important for Terry’s own wellbeing, as he is also his 93-year-old partner’s carer.
“I didn’t expect to get past 65,” he admitted.
“I am pleased with the way I’ve turned my life around and would advise anyone who is experiencing constant breathlessness and coughing to go and see your doctor.”