In one day, we take 20,000 breaths. Now imagine if you struggled with every one of those breaths, every single day.
That is the reality for thousands of patients in Regina’s hospitals, including premature babies, those paralyzed by neck injuries, people with cystic fibrosis, trauma accident victims, and those who experience severe asthma.
Respiratory equipment is critical for these patients; they don’t just need it to breathe and to have a better quality of life - in fact, they need it to live.
Cory Dumalski never thought he’d be one of those patients.
Born on a farm west of Melville, Cory came to Regina to attend the University of Regina, eventually receiving a Master’s degree in Engineering. He stayed in Regina to work and enjoyed travelling with his wife and playing sports. Cory didn’t think about how breathing was essential to doing all those things. He just lived his life.
However, in 2013, at the young age of 27, Cory’s life took an unexpected turn.
At first, he thought he had a chest cold. However, when he was struggling to breathe even while sitting, he knew it was more serious.
I didn’t know what was wrong at first," Cory recalls. "And when you’re struggling to simply breathe, it can become really debilitating and stressful. It affected every part of my life.”
Cory met with Dr. Zenon Belak, a Pulmonologist in Regina. After a series of tests, he was diagnosed with Sensitizer Induced Occupational Asthma. Cory had to leave his job permanently and then spent most of 2013 undergoing more testing and treatment.
I relied on respiratory equipment for my testing, diagnosis and treatment, he says. “I have no doubt this equipment saved my life.”
Today Cory feels the best he’s felt in a couple of years, though he still takes medication and undergoes testing every six months to see how his respiratory system is functioning.
“I’m just one of many people who rely on respiratory equipment,” he says.
“It’s so critical – everybody needs to breathe.”