By Clare Bello Ogden
“I had my first pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) surgery in March 2012. I had high hopes that I was ‘cured,’ but I was not. I was better for a while and then began to go back to the debilitating place I was before the first surgery. I could not walk more than 50 feet without having to rest and catch my breath. I had horrible swelling of my hands and feet as well. Then I met Dr. Benza, Dr. Moraca and the team at Allegheny Health Network in 2016. They gave me hope that I could be better. They worked my miracle— a second PTE surgery! It was so frightening and pretty risky BUT SO WORTH IT! I had my second PTE almost exactly five years after my first one. But this time? I am well. I’ve been to the red rocks of Sedona since that surgery, and I could walk and experience that magic. I went to the Grand Canyon at 8,000 feet above sea level, and I COULD BREATHE.
“So my hope is for me and everyone else who had PTE surgery, and it wasn’t completely successful. Keep hoping, keep talking to our experts and warriors out there. There can be improvement. Hope.”