Sharon Proudfoot, from Vernon, is an active member of the pulmonary hypertension community and organizes a support group for those suffering within the Okanagan. It’s World Pulmonary Hypertension Day May 5, 2020. (Contributed)

Sharon Proudfoot, from Vernon, is an active member of the pulmonary hypertension community and organizes a support group for those suffering within the Okanagan. It’s World Pulmonary Hypertension Day May 5, 2020. (Contributed)

COVID-19: Pulmonary Hypertension Day reminder to maintain social distance, Vernon woman says

Woman diagnosed with complex lung disease asks community to keep up effort to curb spread of coronavirus

May 5th is not your average spring day. It’s World Pulmonary Hypertension Day.

This year, amid the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, this day is even more important as individuals diagnosed with the complex lung disease are especially vulnerable and may develop serious illnesses if COVID-19 is contracted, according to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

Sharon Proudfoot, a Vernon resident diagnosed with the rare and potentially fatal lung disease, is asking people this Pulmonary Hypertension Day to continue making the efforts to protect vulnerable populations and help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Provincial and federal health officials continue to call for social distancing measures of at least six feet, or two metres, and gatherings of more than 50 people are still banned within British Columbia.

Proudfoot said World PH Day is a great reminder for individuals to maintain their social distancing practices.

“I already didn’t have the energy to go out much,” she said. “Everbody is feeling a bit of what I feel all the time.”

“The biggest change for me is the delay of appointments for tests and clinical trials,” Proudfoot said.

“We don’t know how long these trials will be put on hold,” she said. “I am concerned about the long-term impact on treatment and the health-care system.”

Pulmonary hypertension affects more than 25 million people worldwide, including nearly 10,000 Canadians.

To mark World PH Day, monuments, including BC Place and the Sails of Light in Vancouver, will be illuminated in purple May 5 and the Canadian PH community will #PaintCanadaPurple across social media platforms.

For more information, please visit: www.phacanada.ca/worldphday.

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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