Metro News - Toronto | Sean McKibbon
“I’d been in Spain — Barcelona about two weeks,” said Hélène Campbell, 20. “I felt a little short of breath out there, but I just thought it was asthma.”
She speaks in bursts of bubbly energy, punctuated by short, quiet gasps. Her smile seems visible even on the telephone. A short documentary shot by her friend Elisabeth Levesque-Mumford has gone viral.
Campbell called her family doctor when she go back this July, got some tests done. A chest x-ray. She got a call days later telling her to go to a hospital because the x-ray showed her lungs had collapsed.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is what the doctors finally settled on as a diagnosis after repeated biopsies, blood tests and examinations. Her lungs are inflamed and have probably been that way for six years, the doctors told her. They’d seen similar cases among the elderly. Even someone in their 30s. But never in someone so young. They don’t know what caused it though so that’s why it’s “idiopathic.”