Scleroderma Patient Writes About Pulmonary Hypertension

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Liz DeVivo was diagnosed with scleroderma in 2000, although she had been suffering from symptoms of the disease for four years before her diagnosis.

MORE: Seven common misconceptions about scleroderma

Scleroderma ravaged her body and in 2001 she was put on the transplant list for new lungs and heart. DeVivo had also developed pulmonary hypertension (PH) and suffered from frequent pericardial effusions.

In an article on The Mighty, DeVivo talks about her journey with scleroderma and pulmonary hypertension and the fact that she is a rare medical case. She explains how when she was diagnosed with PH, her doctor told her she only had between two and five years to live.

Most hospitals specializing in lung and heart transplants turned DeVivo down, as she was too ill to be considered a candidate. To complicate matters more, she’s type B blood and only weighed 95 pounds so would’ve needed organs from a child. Thankfully, DeVivo had a successful heart and lung transplant in 2003 and regained her health.

MORE: Seven facts about scleroderma-related PAH

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