Find out why Alberto now celebrates two birthdays – and why he and his wife Maria don’t take a single breath for granted.
Alberto, from Valencia in Spain, was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a rare lung disease that results in scarring of the lungs. The diagnosis completely changed his life: due to its nature, patients with IPF have a limited life expectancy.
Maria, his wife for over 40 years, had started to notice the symptoms before his diagnosis.
Luckily, Alberto and Maria went to see their doctor shortly after noticing symptoms, and Alberto was referred to a pulmonologist, who diagnosed IPF.
The earlier IPF is diagnosed, the better for patients to help stabilise the condition.
However, IPF usually gets worse over time. As his disease progressed, Alberto says he felt as though “his goals began to collapse.”
Maria could see her husband’s fighting spirit.
And even though the disease only directly affected Alberto, Maria played a very important role in helping him live with it.
On 16th May 2016, Alberto and Maria received the phone call they had been hoping for. Alberto received a double lung transplant later the same day. The operation was a success.
It is not always easy to stay active with IPF, but Alberto has always done what he could to stay as healthy as possible and was involved planning his disease management with his doctors.
No man is an island, and no disease can be fought alone.
For Alberto and Maria, they have gained more cherished time together.