Spotlight: Jan Hughes

BREATHING FREELY

Jan Hughes spent her career working in architectural and landscape design. So when she came to West Park’s Day Hospital to gain strength ahead of surgery to treat lung cancer, she appreciated the hospital’s “homey” environment.

“It’s old fashioned, but it’s charming,” she says, adding that her favourite design style is Craftsman.

When Jan returned to West Park for inpatient respiratory rehabilitation after her surgery, she needed oxygen to breathe. But with a rigorous exercise and therapy program, she was soon able to get off the oxygen and breathe easier.

“Before West Park, I was huffing and puffing on oxygen. Now I’m huffing and puffing without oxygen,” she says laughing. “I can’t stand being on oxygen. It just curtails so much in your life.”

Unfortunately, after suffering a blood clot earlier this year, Jan had to start using oxygen again, but she is grateful that she was able to return to West Park this past spring. After five more weeks of in-patient respiratory rehabilitation, she was back off the oxygen.

“I was very pleased with myself,” Jan says. “They have a very good program. All the nurses are fantastic; the physiotherapist made me work really hard and I got off oxygen sooner.”

Jan especially enjoyed the social atmosphere that West Park provided and even likened the experience to summer camp.

"If you’ve got breathing problems, West Park is the apex of places to come for therapy."

“In the evening, you sit out in the rotunda and just shoot the breeze with everybody, laughing and talking,” she says. “You make friends. You can’t help but make friends. It’s just a very warm place.”

Jan is now an outpatient at the Day Hospital, and between the days that she comes to West Park, she enjoys being able to walk her dog, Ollie.

“I use the walking as my exercise on the days off,” Jan says. “I don’t walk her far, but at least I get a walk-in.”

Jan calls herself a “real fan” of West Park and its respiratory rehabilitation program.

“If you’ve got breathing problems, West Park is the apex of places to come for therapy.”