“I am writing this to serve as a warning to others to watch for PH symptoms.”

“How ironic for me that Nov. 8 is National PH Day of Action during PH Awareness Month. On this date, seven years ago, my beloved mother, Ruth Greenspan, a widow for 54 years, lost her battle with PH after being diagnosed with the disease just five weeks before.

“Until this very day, I am hurt with the way my mother was treated. I had warned her physician during a visit that my mother was sleeping a lot longer than usual and had difficulty breathing while walking up stairs and while eating. Her doctor examined her heart and took her blood pressure and told me she should come back to see him in six weeks at an alternate office where there were no steps.

“Within one week of that visit, my mother collapsed in her apartment. In the emergency room, they found she had a blood clot in right lung and pneumonia and PH was mentioned. Shocked, I asked how this could be so when she had just been to the doctor. They gave me the standard line that at her age, 90, anything could occur overnight.

“The next five weeks were awful. On a ventilator, my mother was gasping for air when they would attempt to take her off. Finally, they told me that she would not recover and recommended hospice care. She was moved to hospice in the same building 3 p.m. on Nov. 8. I was told there that she would not get better and that this could go on for some time, so Medicare would reevaluate after 60 days. I was then told to go home and come back the next morning so that hospice procedures could be explained to me. At 6 p.m., I received a call notifying me of my mother’s passing.

“I still feel my mother was not properly diagnosed or treated. I am writing this to serve as a warning to others to watch for PH symptoms. I realize the illness is hard to diagnose and symptoms often look like asthma. Thank you for the work you are doing to raise awareness of this sinister illness.”

Edward Greenspan