Memorial story

Michael L. White, Jr.

A Pulmonary Hypertension Challenge by Mary White, Anderson, Ind.

Michael L. WhiteThis challenge comes from the bottom of my heart in memory of my son, Michael L. White Jr. He lost his battle with pulmonary hypertension at the age of 37 on June 10, 2009.

When Mike was born, God gave him the breath of life and the strength for his little body to grow with the heart defect he was born with (transposition of great vessels).

The ugly signs of PH appeared as Mike grew to be a young man. His dream was to be an EMT and to care for others. He accomplished these things and worked as an EMT for a few years. After that, he worked as a critical care technician at our local hospital for 10 years. Eventually, PH took its toll and he could no longer carry out his duties at work.

As Mike fought PH, he fought with all his might to keep PH from taking over his life. He tried to live and love each day to its fullest.

As PH progressed, the struggle to breathe became harder. All of the many meds just would not let his body function any longer. God took him out of his misery, and now he is breathing easy. He soars with the eagles now.

I, as a caregiver and parent, want to challenge and encourage all of you patients and caregivers to be strong! Be positive! Live and love each day to its fullest! Most of all, take care of yourselves and love yourselves!

Caregivers, you are the only advocates your patient/loved one may have. You also have to stay strong and positive. This is not easy to do in those most difficult times. Take care of yourselves.

PH patients and caregivers are some of the strongest people I know. Keep on with your hopes and dreams. I believe there is a cure for PH in the future. It’s coming! Be strong, and hang in there!

You are all important in this journey to find a cure, and I feel that I always will be connected to and feel love for PH patients and caregivers.


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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.