Website help for Irish people with breathing disease
A Sligo man has become the first in Ireland to offer nationwide support to people suffering from an incurable breathing illness.
Michael McGloin, of Wynnesfort, located four miles from Sligo town, was diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) nine years ago. Until he set up his own support system he obtained most of his information through a rehabilitation programme and from information he got from the internet.
But, he discovered that there was no dedicated Irish website offering support to the increasing numbers of people who are diagnosed with this disease. The north-west region has the second highest rates of COPD in the country with signifigant increases arising in Sligo and Leitrim.
He said: “As there was no support group or a website in Ireland I decided to build a combined personal and COPD support website. I now have the first Irish support website on-line that can help others to understand and cope with this debilitation disease.”
As well as working full time, Michael spent a lot of time playing music in venues across the north- west. He played with bands such as “The Mellowtones”, “Ivy Leaf” and “Pearl Express”. In 1990, after a lot of encouragement from supporters, he became a one-man-band called “Solton Sound”. He recorded three records and was travelling more as a result.
In 1997, Michael started to notice that he had difficulty breathing.
“As a result of smoking and playing in smoky pubs, clubs, halls and community centres. I had my first respiratory arrest on October 10, 1999. At that time I was diagnosed with having a chronic lung disease, which explained why I was feeling very breathless on exertion. It was very frightening.
“I had to give up my day job and playing my music which was the hardest of all.”
Friends and supporters got together in September 2000 and held a tribute night for him in the Sligo Southern Hotel. Unfortunately, Michael never got to attend as he was in hospital.
Against medical advice, Michael went back into the recording studio and recorded a 14-track album aptly titled “Against The Odds”.
The website is www.copdsupport.ie
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder is a debilitating lung disease that is progressive and is irreversible and is linked to smoking in most cases and affecting over 110,000 Irish people. COPD is the second largest cause of respiratory deaths in Ireland. C.O.P.D. obstructs the airways, making breathing difficult. Patients with C.O.P.D. including those with Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema are estimated to account for almost a quarter of deaths in Ireland.