Cystic Fibrosis sufferer Kyle Collis is incredibly grateful for THRF’s support during the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently in self isolation due to the risks of COVID-19, Kyle Collis – who suffers from chronic lung condition Cystic Fibrosis (CF) – is incredibly grateful for the support of The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) during the coronavirus pandemic.
The father of two will now be able to have a Spirometer lung testing machine at home – a lifesaving initiative that will avoid him having to attend hospital and put himself at risk of catching the deadly virus.
“Having the opportunity to do this at home is going to make such a huge impact!” Kyle, from Munno Para, said.
“I was very very excited when I heard this was coming. It will help so many people avoid going to hospital.”
In a partnership with SA Health, THRF has contributed $156,000 to purchase 150 Spirometer machines for adult CF sufferers to use at home, in order to facilitate Telehealth consultations with their specialists. THRF has also committed to another 35 machines to support child CF patients.
There is no specific information on the effects of COVID-19 in people with CF, however other viruses such as the cold and flu can worsen the condition so it is a high-risk time for patients.
“Not having to go to hospital for my check-up where I run the risk of picking up something, not necessarily COVID but any chest infection, will be a great thing,” Kyle said.
“Even moving forward past COVID, this will help so much. If I were to just pick up a cold or something from one of the kids, instead of me then having to call the hospital and them saying ‘come in and we’ll check you out’ – I can do a telehealth appointment right there and then and do my lung function test at home.”
The Spirometer is usually used by clinicians to measure how well the lungs are functioning. At 33, Kyle has spent his whole life attending hospital check-ups to monitor the genetic condition.
“Unfortunately it’s happened in the past where I will go to a clinic appointment feeling well, then a week later I’ve come down with something and it’s probably just because I’ve had to go to the appointment.
“The spirometer tests the percentage of air we can breathe in and expire. We would generally test it every six weeks, depending on how we’re feeling.
“Once you get to a certain percentage, generally about the low 30s/late 20s, that’s when they start considering things like a lung transplant. So for us to keep our lung function percentage as high as possible, that will help us avoid a transplant for as long as possible.”
When not restricted by high-risk environments such as COVID-19, Kyle lives a normal life with his wife and two daughters, working full-time and running to keep himself healthy.
Remarkably, he was planning to run his second Ultra Marathon later this year, but the current pandemic will put those plans on hold.
“Running helps with the CF, that’s why I took it up about four or five years ago. It helps your mental health but it also helps your lung function.
“I did my first Ultra Marathon last year which took me 11 hours. I was hoping to do one again this year but that might be on hold now, but that just gives me two years to train!”
THRF is committed to fighting for the health of people like Kyle through the support of more patient initiatives and research into COVID-19.