I’m Aware That I’m Rare: Debra Hines-Bruce (261)

phaware global association®
7 min readDec 1, 2019

The phaware® interview

Pulmonary hypertension patient, Debra Hines-Bruce discusses her PH diagnosis and how a chance encounter at a patient conference turned into a marriage proposal.

My name is Debra Hines-Bruce and I am a pulmonary hypertension patient.

It started out in November of 2015. In 2008, actually, I decided that it was time to take over my life. I was 326 pounds, miserable, in a class teaching health and a light bulb went off. “How can you teach health and you’re not healthy?” So at that point, I decided to start dieting and exercising and that’s exactly what I did. I worked hard, I changed my diet. I worked out every day, sometimes twice a day, and I was successful. After two years, I lost 140 pounds, and I continue to keep it off.

After that, I kind of plateaued and weight wasn’t coming off the way it should. So, I decided to join a boot camp. And I did, I joined the boot camp and it was awesome. Life was great. So, I normally have a yearly exam with my doctors. I have wonderful doctors, and I just have a yearly exam just to do a yearly checkup to see how I’m doing. It was Friday morning, November 20th, 2015. I had taken the morning off to go to my doctor’s appointment. Now, prior to my doctor’s appointment, I did my normal boot camp, 4:30 a.m. boot camp. For some reason, that boot camp just didn’t feel like it did enough. So, one of the ladies that was in the camp with me asked if I wanted to go to the gym afterwards, and so we did. We decided to go to the gym after boot camp. I felt it then. It was good. It was a great boot camp.

So, after that I went home, showered, and went to the doctor’s office for my exam and he said, “Deborah, your lab results are awesome. You are my hero.” I laughed because he’s been my same doctor for over 20 years and we have that relationship. So, I laughed it off. He was like, “Well, why are you here today?” I was like, “Well, it’s for my yearly exam, you know, just to check up and see how everything is going.” Then he asked me if I had…

phaware global association®

Are You #phaware? Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare, life-threatening disease affecting the arteries of the lungs. www.phaware.global