I’m Aware That I’m Rare: Kathleen Richardson (223)

phaware global association®
4 min readFeb 22, 2019

The phaware® interview

Pulmonary hypertension patient, Kathleen Richardson, discusses exercise, Team PHenomenal Hope and why research is critical.

Hi, I’m Kathleen Richardson, and I am a pulmonary hypertension patient.

It was after my son was born, my youngest son, he was about two years old, and I was feeling some shortness of breath. It seemed odd to me, but it wasn’t significant. I just figured it was after having three children and feeling a little bit short of breath. But then I went to SeaWorld with some friends, and we climbed all the way from the bottom to the top of this stadium, and I was so short of breath I didn’t think I was going to recover. But I did. It was short, but I looked around and no one else was breathing as heavy as I was. So I realized there really was something wrong, and I needed to get to the doctor.

So I went to the doctor, and it took about six months going to test after test after test. They were coming back normal. The doctor asked me if I’d ever been diagnosed with panic attacks, because I think he was thinking maybe it was in my head. I don’t know. That’s the message I got anyway. I said, “No, it’s not panic attacks,” but I did start to question myself at that point and wondered whether I should keep looking because maybe there wasn’t anything wrong. It was just in my head. But I did keep pursuing, and they finally did a stress test. When they did that stress test, my blood oxygen saturation dropped significantly. It went down to 78. So then they said, “Yeah, there’s something wrong with you.” And I said, “Yeah, I kind of figured that.”

So then I had a few more tests, and then finally had a heart catheterization. After the heart catheterization, the cardiologist said, “There’s nothing wrong with your heart. It’s got to be something with your lungs. We did notice a little elevation in pressure over here, but not too much.” Then a couple days later, he called me back and asked me to come to his office. It was there that he told me he consulted…

phaware global association®

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