Linda’s Story – In Her Own Words
I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis in 1986. All of my life I coughed and coughed, having many recurring lung infections and pneumonias. Finally in 1992, I needed supplemental oxygen for shortness-of-breath. For four years I was on oxygen 24/7 as well as taking normal medications and using all available airway clearance methods for this disease.
In the summer of 1996 I was hospitalized three times and finally the doctors told my husband Art and I that I should go home and get my affairs in order. They thought I had 2-3 months to live.
Together Art and I talked about all the things we had tried to clear the thick phlegm from my lungs and thought, “How about sound? Why couldn’t we vibrate the inside of the lungs instead of percussing the outside, and why couldn’t we resonate the mucus plugs rather than shake the lung structure as in other methods?”
Art proceeded to go to his workshop in the basement. An hour later he came up with a device for me to try. It was a Hatch chile can, a speaker, the electronics to make it work, and a piece of plastic tubing for a mouthpiece.
Each week I was feeling a little better. After three weeks I went to see my doctor who was amazed at my improvement. Keeping track of my peak flow each day also encouraged me. I started to see my peak flow go up a little more each week. We revised the device until it seemed to be the most effective.
Each week I was feeling stronger, slowly increased my activity level and kept getting more phlegm out.
Finally, after having used the Vibralung for seven months, the lung function tests showed I had doubled in lung function and my walking tests showed I could go without oxygen. I felt like I was getting my life back. I have improved from being almost bed ridden to performing normal activities again.
A few days later I went with a girlfriend up to Hoosier Pass, nearly 12,000 feet, with no oxygen!
Now a year and a half later, I am using the Vibralung twice weekly or as needed for respiratory maintenance.
Post script: Outliving the several months predicted by her doctors, Linda maintained a wonderful quality of life using the Vibralung. She passed away six and a half years later from unrelated cancer.
For more info Google: Parker Chronicle Vibralung and on youtube: Denver Channel Vibralung.
Linda Hughes – 1997
Hoosier Pass Colorado 12,000 feet elevation
Photo by Elizabeth Bromley
Art Hughes – 2016
Vibralung through the Years
Photo by Chris Michlewicz