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Medical Edge: Lung Disease

Updated: Friday, May 2 2014, 05:19 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A woman from Sardinia, Ohio has a big thank you to a pulmonary team at UC Health for giving her back the ability to breath better again.

After years of being diagnosed and treated for asthma Sharon Haskin finally decided she needed someone to help give her husband back a good night sleep

Haskin tells Local 12's medical reporter, Liz Bonis, "My husband unfortunately would stay awake at night making sure I was breathing.  We've been married 36 years and he never always stayed awake to make sure I was breathing."

It turned out it was not asthma.  The problem that was giving her difficulty breathing is one that is we rarely hear about.  It can be diagnosed and treated but you do need to get to the right specialist.

Doctor Sadia Benzaquen was just the guy for Haskin.  She calls him "Big Cahuna" because Doctor Benzaquen was the first to help Haskin find relief from what turned out to be what's called EDAC: Excessive Dynamic Airway Collapse.

Dr. Sadia Benzaquen, a pulmonologist, said, "It's basically a bulging of the posterior wall of the trachea and main bronchias."

Doctor Benzaquen's team showed Local 12 News computer images how a normal airway is open, but Haskins didn't look anything like that.  She tried dozens of medications to manage many of the problems that contribute to EDAC such as reflux and sleep apnea, only to find she would get better and then get sick again.

 Finally, a tube shaped in a "y" was inserted for a trial run to see if surgery could help the condition.  Sure enough, symptoms usually present for Haskin like shortness of breath, wheezing and a barking cough were gone.  Which then made her a candidate for a permanent mesh implant to be inserted in surgery.

Dr. Benzaquen said, "It's a major surgery where they place a mesh in the posterior wall of the trachea and bronchi to make sure when they expire the wall does not collapse."
For Haskin it has made all the difference, "With each month I can see that I am getting better and making strides."

Strides that allow her to do great things like get a full night of rest. 

The UC Health team  in this story -is one of just three in the state specifically trained to treat this condition.

Follow Liz Bonis on Twitter @lbonis1 and LIKE her on Facebook Medical Edge: Lung Disease

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