Strong, Brave, Loving, Determined, Generous, Husband, Father, and Grandfather – this is who my father was and so much more. He was a man who believed in helping others, serving his community and being a good father and grandfather.
In 2012, my father was diagnosed with IPF. We didn’t know a lot about it but after researching over the internet, meeting with his physicians and learning about the disease, we knew this was very serious. Not surprisingly, however, this did not hold my dad back. He became more determined to fight this disease than he had ever been. He always believed that he would get better. He never let go of hope.
Over the next months, it was apparent the disease was progressing. He was getting forgetful. He was struggling walking up and down the stairs. His weight started to significantly decrease and he was getting weaker, but that didn’t stop him. He continued with respiratory rehabilitation. He religiously took his supplements. He made sure he was eating and sleeping the best that he could and he even continued with his consulting and volunteer work. He was not going to let anything stop him.
After a hard and brave fight, one short year after diagnosis in October 2013, my father passed away with IPF. He took his last breath at Toronto General Hospital with my sister, my mother, and me by his side. At 75 years old my father was one of the oldest patients on the lung transplant waiting list. He was on the list for 2 weeks but unfortunately lost the fight against IPF.
A few weeks before my father passed away, he celebrated his 75th birthday and one of the nurses asked him “Mr. Lamba what is your birthday wish”, my dad replied “my wish is to get better so I can help other people with this disease because I know firsthand how hard it is to live with”.
I am a nurse by profession and have witnessed, read and learned about many horrible diseases. IPF by far is the most devastating disease I have ever come across. The disease cripples both the patient and their family within a very fast and short time frame.
I intend to carry out this wish for my dad and help people suffering with IPF by volunteering my time and sharing my father’s story to raise awareness about IPF.
The need to continue to fund research so that one day a cure will be found is important.