The Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s (PHA’s) The Right Heart blog brings you a story about an individual who lives with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and the difficult road to diagnosis. While at work one day in 2011, Brigette Thompson started gasping for breath after taking a flight of stairs. “I knew there was something wrong with me. Never in my life could I not walk or even run up a flight of stairs,” says Brigette.

Her symptoms presented like asthma. She had shortness of breath and got tired very easily. At first, her doctor thought she could just be “out of shape,” but her issues were much more serious than that.

Brigette’s story takes us through the challenging process of getting an accurate diagnosis. After many negative tests, a pulmonologist ordered a right heart catheterization procedure, and it was discovered that Brigette, in fact, had a very rare condition, idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH).

Read more about Brigette’s path to her diagnosis and how she is living her daily life with the rare disease in The Right Heart blog.