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best friend's mom has end stage COPD, needs advice

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It's been a long time since I've posted on here. I used to be quite active on here.


Tim and I are still pretty close friends. I'm also good friends with his mom. Recently, her health has deteriorated quite rapidly to the point that she was just diagnosed with end stage COPD. She's been suffering from COPD for the last five years and has had many relapses. Tim and her and the rest of the family are now freaking out that she is dying (or going to die soon). They are trying to find ways to help her, and now they've latched onto stem cell therapy as maybe a way to prolong her life. Does anybody know anything about stem cell therapy in regards to treating COPD? Does it work, or at least, does it prolong life a bit? It's not a cheap treatment since it is experimental (and insurance does NOT cover it). Tim and his mom and the family are willing to spend the money for it, just to prolong her life.


Also, how can I be supportive to him while he goes through this? This also affects me since his mom is like a 2nd mother to me. We chat alot on the phone and via text about all kinds of things. I ask her stuff that I won't ask my own mother. I'm sad inside because I will be losing a good friend (when it comes time).

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Ballerinababe, yes she smokes, although she has tried numerous times to stop. This time, she says she has stopped for good (I pray she has).


She is on

Breo Ellipta 200/25 two morning puffs

Spirva Respimat 2.5mcg two puffs bedtime .

and pro air for rescue


She was prescribed Daliresp 500mg 1 time at night to prevent relapse, but she says it didn't work well for her


She is also on oxygen at night (2 liters/night when she is NOT having an episode)

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She has the end stage COPD and is trying to quit smoking now. Help her quit smoking for good first. Just be there for her and your friend Tim. There is not much else you can do except spending time with them. I do not know much about stem cell therapy except it is still in research. I was in a trauma conference a couple of months ago, and one of the speakers was actually a research physician who was involved in the stem cell treatment for various medical cases including cancer. Anything regarding lung injury or cancer was mentioned but it does not mean there isn't. However, if it is a trial I wonder why it still costs them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Renny...


You know that is what killed my dad. I know I have talked about it before, either here or on facebook. He was a long time smoker, quit for 8 months, went back to smoking and eventually got quite ill. He was on many of the medications Tim's mom is on, he was also on oxygen. When I moved him in with me, he lived for another 8 months smoke free but he died anyway. Honestly, smokers that are diagnosed with COPD that continue to smoke are signing their death warrant. Even if she stops smoking now, her lungs are far too damaged. It was the saddest thing ever, to watch my dad struggle to breathe. Sigh....

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Find ways that help Tim and his family and when you figure out a way to be supportive ask yourself if the way you chose is more for him or more to help yourself spend time with her -choose ways to help him and his mother and prioritize that over your need to interact with her. So that might mean showing up and cleaning the kitchen floor or going to the grocery store, or the pharmacy, helping make phone calls to annoying insurance companies, etc. Showing up is 80% and do whatever you can to relieve the burden and often that does mean grunt work or tasks/errands.


As far as stem cell I'm not sure about that or if it would be effective. You can do google research and call organizations that are experts in it -I'm sure they have FAQ/resources even right on the site.


I am sorry about this tragic situation.

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My Mom was going to go through with stem cell procedure when she had end stage COPD but I think they found her not a good candidate once she’d made the down payment (then it took her MONTHS to get her money back and only because of the HUGE stink we made and she had to get a lawyer to send a letter-we think that’s the only reason they refunded her).


My mom’s health was too deteriorated that they didn’t think she’d handle it well. She died within the year after that after getting sick (flu and pneumonia over and over). Her last months were spent in the hospital 1-3 times per month. It was horrible and slow painful death to watch.


The only regret I’d say is not talking to her about whether or not she wanted to be at home when she passed (she wouldn’t really talk about it so it’s my perspective). If she’d accepted the hospice she could’ve been at least more comfortable than in the hospital.


Once she started morphine it was only a matter of time.


I’m so sorry for all that you’re all about to go through. Here to chat if you need it.

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Hey guys, thanks for responding to my questions.


Batya, Tim's mom doesn't live out here in CA so what we do is talk via phone or texting. She asks me a lot of medical questions since I have asthma and have been on some of the meds she's been on. Occasionally, I help her research stuff (when I have time). She is coming out here to CA (in Feb) to try a last ditch experimental stem cell treatment. I did help her research into the different places that do stem cell treatments and she and Tim connected with them via phone and email.


Metrogirl, I remember you talking about your dad. It is sad to hear them struggle to breathe (I can hear that when I am on the phone with Tim and his mom). She thinks she is improving a bit, but truthfully she doesn't sound good. She is also on oxygen 24/7. She did finally stop smoking (although Tim thinks she will relapse). And yes, the specialist has told her that her lungs are badly damaged (and she is NOT a candidate for lung transplant - they have inquired about this).


Vanishing Girl, she is going through the cycle of getting flu/pnuemonia and being hospitalized for it. Each time she gets hospitalized, the meds help her, but she gets weaker. It doesn't help that she lives in a cold and wet climate.


I try to be available to her via text or phone whenever I can (although I've been very busy with work lately).


It's tough watching her deteriorate and watching it take a toll on Tim.

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