Heysham OAP to raise funds for British Lung Foundation

Ileane Parr.
Ileane Parr.

A Heysham mum is defying the odds after battling a chronic lung condition for more than twenty years.

Ileane Parr, 78, has suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for 22 years and is determined to show others there is still a life worth living.

Some people get so scared but there is still a life worth living

Ileane Parr

COPD is the fifth biggest killer disease in the UK, causing 23,000 deaths a year in England.

The mum-of-two needs constant oxygen to manage her chronic bronchitis and emphysema which causes difficulty in her breathing.

Although Ileane needs care she is still determined to keep her independence and even managed a cruise last year with daughter Sue.

The cruise to Malta and Venice came just weeks after Ileane was discharged from hospital with severe exacerbation, when a condition takes a severe downturn.

Ms Parr, who lives on Woodlands Drive, said: “It stops you doing the 
simple things but it doesn’t stop you having a good quality of life.

“I went on a cruise last year, it felt like I was in charge of my own life and I was determined to get better for it really.

“It helped me to come to acceptance with everything.”

Ileane lost her husband shortly before she was diagnosed at 56 years-old.

But she didn’t let her condition stop her and carried on working as a home help in the care service until 2000.

Ileane is now organising a sponsored walk for the British Lung Foundation (BLF) in Happy Mount Park during BLF’s Breathe Easy Week in June.

She said: “As long as 
I can push my little oxygen trolley I can do this walk. I haven’t been to Happy Mount Park for years, I get quite a shock that I can’t remember what it looks like.

“Walking was very different then and now, I could walk without having to stop, so this is going to be a big thing.”

COPD is not the only battle Ileane is facing as she also suffers from a deteriorating eye condition and an enlargement on the right side of her 
heart making it difficult to breathe.

“You know when you are getting washed and dressed I have to take at least four sit downs,” said Ileane.

“The discomfort is there so much and it takes the pleasure out of it all.”

But the mum has taken all this in her stride by running a support group for the British Lung Foundation for the past 14 years.

Simple tasks have been taken away from her but she wants to support others with the same conditions as her as much as she can.

She said: “I tell people who panic when they get diagnosed, I have got worse but I have lived with it.

“Some people get so scared but there is still a life worth living.”

If you ould like to sponsor Ileane on her walk in June please call 01524 852 835.