The Impact of Plasma Donation: Wayne's Story (Sponsored)
Sep 27, 2016 11:30AM ● Published by Wendy Erlien
BioLife Plasma Services operates numerous plasma collection centers throughout the United States. The plasma collected at BioLife Plasma Service is processed into a wide variety of life-saving therapeutics that benefit thousands of people everyday - including Wayne, a recipient of recipient of a plasma-based therapeutic.
As a self-employed consultant in New Orleans, Wayne has enjoyed the freedom to truly appreciate where he lives, In fact, he once served as king of one of the city’s famous Mardi Gras parades. Wayne is also an avid traveler, and it was a mild hiking excursion in Aruba several years ago that eventually led him to be diagnosed with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD).
Although he had been treated for asthma for a number of years, Wayne was surprised at the breathing difficulties that came over him while walking up a hill on the island.
“I actually had to stop and catch my breath,” he recalls. “I saw that a lot of the people passing me on the trail were elderly and wondered why I has having so much trouble.”
When he returned from his trip, Wayne was referred to a pulmonologist. “He put me on a heavy dose of medication,” Wayne explains. “When my breathing didn’t improve, he recommended testing for something I had never heard of before, AATD.”
Wayne received a letter from his pulmonologist confirming that he did indeed have AATD.
“I met with him and learned much more about this deficiency of a protein that protects the lungs,” he said. “I also learned that any current damage to my lungs could not be reversed, but that through what is called ‘augmentation therapy’ I could receive a weekly infusion that would replace the protein that my body isn’t producing naturally.”
Wayne says he is inspired to tell anyone diagnosed with AATD that there is help and hope.
“The augmentation therapy may help slow lung deterioration,” he says. “It has become a routine part of my life. I continue to do all the things I’ve done before. I still try to go on at least two vacations a year, and I say thank goodness that my doctor tested me for AATD that day.”