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Scott & White patients find relief from lung disease through exercise

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TWC News: Scott & White patients find relief from lung disease through exercise
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Because she suffers a chronic lung disease, Donna Brown will need a lung transplant to improve her health, but while she waits for a donor, a custom exercise plan designed by Scott & White’s Pulmonary Rehab Gymnasium is helping her breathe better.

It’s a plan she wasn’t sure was going to work for her.

“I thought 'I'm not going to be able to do this'," Brown said.

Every patient at the facility suffers from a variety of chronic lung diseases, but instead of pinning all hope on medication, many are finding relief in simple exercise routines.

"Our main thing here is to increase their aerobic capacity and their exercise tolerance, so they are able to do more things out in the real world," Jeremy Erskine, exercise physiologist, said.

For three months, each patient is given a specific exercise plan tailored to what he or she can do. The one-on-one training allows them to go at their own pace.

"They are so positive about how they help you and it's a good atmosphere,” Brown said.

Along with treadmills and weights, this gym has oxygen tank outlets for the patients' convenience.

When she became ill, Donna had to sacrifice her teaching career in Salado. Coming to the gym has helped her cope with her disease.

"I do this which gets me out of my house,” she said. “I come here and I see all of my friends and mentally it's just as important as it is physically."

Since starting the program last September, she has seen great results.

The Pulmonary Rehab says they have 25 patients in their exercise program right now. Hospital officials say they are also opening another rehab center in their Round Rock location.

Doctors said Brown is doing very well and is scheduled to have her lung transplant later this year.

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