John Ruttle (COPD)
For as long as I can remember, I have had Asthma. I am now 70 years old and living with COPD. I was first diagnosed with Bronchitis 15 years ago. Then three years later I was diagnosed with Emphysema and two years later, further diagnosed with COPD. At the time I was given two years to live but I am pleased to report that I have surprised everyone by staying alive and can share my story in the hope that it will help others.
I attribute my survival to a good mental attitude and a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise. But I think I really need to thank my wife whom, without her persistence, time and effort, I would probably not be here today.
After I was diagnosed with COPD I did a pulmonary rehabilitation program at my local hospital which teaches you exercises, how to live with your condition and what lifestyle changes you need to make.
I made a conscious effort to make lifestyle changes including giving up smoking and keeping active. I am now the president of the Nepean Puffers and Wheezers Lung Support Group, I attend a Lungs In Action exercise class every month and I keep busy tending to my orchids and bonsais. I contribute to the community by being on committees for various organisations including the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District and Lung Foundation Australia.
I also love spending time with my three adult children and six grandchildren.
Despite my COPD and other medical problems, I consider myself lucky because other people are worse off than me. My motto is ‘keep living each day as it comes’.