It’s the Christmas season, so there are a lot of carolers out there this time of year, but perhaps none like the group you’re about to meet. This is the story of the “Pulmonairs.”
Don’t let the parade of oxygen tanks fool you. This group of fifteen singers are hooked up so they can sing their hearts out.
Their pulmonologist, Dr. Steven Geller at Northwest Community Healthcare was curious about a study out of England that found singing was beneficial for patients with chronic pulmonary disease. He, along with his Cardiopulmonary Rehab Manager, Anne Gavic-Ott, decided to put the study to the test with some of their own patients.
That was the beginning of what is now the singing group, “The Pulmonairs.”
Five patients now practice every week and performed for the first time as a group at NCH’s Holiday Luncheon. They only had four songs in their repertoire but making it through those four songs was the real inspiration for these patients that struggle to breath everyday.
Lou Cornforth is one of the Pulmonair singers and says this group has been a life saver for her in more ways than one.
“Last Christmas I was in intensive care, close to dying. I never thought I’d be able to stand on my own two feet again,” he says.
Roughly 16 million people in the U.S. have some form of pulmonary disease. While there is no hard evidence that singing relieves their conditions, the Pulmonairs believe it has made a huge difference in their lives.