PHA Pathlight Spring 2014 - (Page 4)

PHenomenal lives Be Brave: Chloe Temtchine Shares Strength through Music J ust over a year ago, on Monday, March 4, 2013, a twister dropped out of the sky and was bearing down on me. It was small to begin with, but within minutes, it turned into a horrifying spiral, gaining speed and ripping through me on its way to touch ground. There was little I could do to save myself other than close my eyes and pray. As the earth crumbled beneath me, lights faded from the sky and evening turned to dark. Red lights flashed and sirens wailed. Unbeknown to me, deadly 180 mmHG pressures in my pulmonary arteries had wreaked havoc throughout my body, resulting in widespread damage to my lungs and heart. The next day, from my bed in the Critical Care Unit, a make-shift shelter for those displaced by the tornado of lifethreatening diseases, I gazed outside at the falling snow and relived the destruction that, just a day earlier, had almost taken my life. A sound beside me, a perpetual hiss, disrupted my gaze. I looked down to discover something shining. It stood perfectly motionless. A clear, thin tube snaked its way from it to me. I could not breathe on my own. In this strange new world, which I had awakened to (thank God), it was apparent that I now had a full-time escort: a tin man in the form of an oxygen tank. I grew up in New York City to parents with diverse cultural backgrounds, and I left home in my early teens to explore the world. From escapades on the streets of Spanish Harlem, to singing in cafes on the sidewalks of Barcelona, my experiences served as fuel for my music. As a singer and songwriter, I need my vocal apparatus to work. With one paralyzed vocal chord, ulcers all over my throat, and my new oxygen sidekick, I wondered how in the world I would be able to sing again. Although I realized that it was a privilege to even be contemplating such a thought after a near-death experience only 24 hours earlier, I still thought, "In order to produce sound, there must be a steady stream of air flowing out of my lungs. There must be a way to make this work." I can't pretend that the thought of jumping off a cliff 4 www.PHAssociation.org didn't cross my mind, but fortunately, my spirit took over and reminded me that I had been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to truly be brave. As J.R.R. Tolkien eloquently said, "It is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit." When all hell is breaking loose, and bad news is barreling toward you from every direction, holding on to any sort of hope is not an easy task. When I was told that my situation was "touch and go," that I might never leave the hospital, and that if I did, I might not have much time left and that I might not breathe on my own again, I had to draw upon every ounce of strength I had and hold on very tightly to a power far greater than myself. Otherwise, the tornado that had altered my life would simply take it. I visualized myself writing, recording and performing music. And it became clear that every part of me - my spirit, my heart, my brain, my courage - was going to have to work together in order to get me back to doing what I love. A miracle happened, and days later I was wheeled out of the Critical Care Unit, accompanied by my new oxygen companion, whom I affectionately refer to as Steve Martin. Once home, Steve Martin and I got to work. We wrote, performed and recorded a new song titled "Be Brave," a song that is intended to serve as an anthem for all those afflicted directly or indirectly by this aggressive and unpredictable disease. The song debuted on March 29, 2014, and 50 percent of all proceeds will go to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association to support its mission: to find a cure. Please download your copy from iTunes today. Simply scan the QR Code on this page or visit www.ChloesPHriend.com. w By Chloe Temtchine, PVOD Patient, with Marvin V. Acuna, Chloe's Husband Scan this QR code to get your copy of "Be Brave" now! PATHLIGHT SPRING 2014 http://www.ChloesPHriend.com http://www.PHAssociation.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PHA Pathlight Spring 2014

PHenomenal Lives
Coping with PH
Health Matters
Ask a PH Specialist
Helpful Hints
Research Corner
Advancing the Cause
Support Groups
Special Events
Chapter Happenings
Persistent Voices
Community Classroom
Conference Preview
PHenomenal Youth
Family PHocus

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