Rina’s story – a father’s wish

Rina’s story – a father’s wish

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.

Family Picture at Dad's convocation May 2012Over 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.

4 Comments
  1. Dear Rina. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family. I was diagnosed with IPF almost two years ago, and am struggling to live with this terrible disease. I am not currently on oxygen, but I was on oxygen for about two months last year due to a lung infection. So far, I am coping quite well, but I have breathing difficulties. I am 68 years old, live in Vancouver, and I am currently being screened for transplant(s). I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know that there are people out here who understand what you and your family went through and are still going through. I think this site is very helpful for many of us who are affected by this disease. Best wishes to you and your family.

    • There is a story about an elder man who focused on a clean eating close to paleo diet and he ran a 5KM marathon two years after his diagnosis. Good luck with this battle. My grandmother just passed from this disease. Devastating.

  2. I was diagnosed 2 years ago. I had been working in the garden LAST Aoril, 10214. I was having a lot of chest pain and told my husband I thought I should go to emerg. Well I got there, drtook me in and ge said ‘well you have pulminiry fibrosis. I looked at him and said No I don’t, he flipped the computer screen and said Its right there. He wrote it down for me. Well two months later, I ended up in hoital w phnumonua. They drained 1 litre of fluid from my left lung, when I got home 2 wks later I was back on but this time they drained another 1 1/2 litre of guck out, I ended up w a blood transfusion, and eventually headed back home. I struggled through the remainder of the year. This year has been hell, breathing mkrw difficult, mire pain in chest, aloy of time in bed or laying down cause I am so tired. Well my GP can never contact the specialist so she asked another lung special for a consult. He wrote back that he doesn’t believe I have it. So now more tests….I talked to the head of the respiratory deot. And she said i saw the tests and there was fibroids in the lungs. So now I wate. What a rollercoaster it’s been.

  3. On March 22nd, 2015, I lost my grandma to IPF. She was my best friend; my favourite person in the entire world. We were very close.

    I was going to school in BC, and didn’t get to spend as much time with her over the past 4 years. But every time that I came home, I would call her and visit. The last time that I saw her out of the hospital was in November, and the moment that I saw her she gave me a hug and cried in my arms. I didn’t know why she was crying, but I knew that something was wrong. My grandma didn’t want to admit that she was sick, and she fought so hard. She was so strong.

    Shortly after my visit with her, I received a phone call from my mother telling me that my grandma was in the hospital. I wanted to visit her so badly, but I was in the middle of school and was about to graduate from a 4 year degree (I am 21 years old). The doctors also thought that my grandma would be able to live in assisted living, so she convinced me to stay in BC.

    But on Sunday, March 20th, my mother called me crying and told me to get on the earliest flight possible. I was in shock. My heart hurt. I spent the next two days by my grandma’s side in the hospital, until the very end. IPF took my grandma’s life way too soon, at age 74, and so unexpectedly. It has been so hard to separate my anger from my love for her. This disease is awful, and does not have a cure. I watched it take my grandma’s life in a matter of days. No one should have to say goodbye to someone that they love, especially at such a young age.

    I watched my grandma’s eyes fill with fear as the doctor literally told her, “there is nothing we can do.” I can’t even imagine hearing those words, knowing that your life is about to end when you thought that you would be going home.

    I don’t know how to move forward, but I want to direct my energy and time towards sharing my story. This disease is horrible and took a huge part of who I am, away from me.

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