Support.

Knowledge.

Hope.

Welcome to the

PHA SA South Africa Website

This website is for anyone who suffers from Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) as well as their friends and family.

Here you will find information about the condition, as well about the PHA South Africa organisation.

Patient Memorial

Intro

The articles below are written by South African PH patients and family members of PH patients.

Read Patient Stories.

Jenna

Lowe

Jenna Lowe was a guiding light in the landscape of Pulmonary Hypertension in South Africa, young, bright, beautiful and courageous she became an activist for the condition shortly after she was diagnosed in 2011.

Jenna was an extraordinary child. She had a gentle strength, remarkable beauty and compassion, exceptional intellect and an enviable command of the English language. She was an avid reader from a very young age and a published author by the age of 10. Not only ways she bright and beautiful, but her quick wit, engaging inquisitive nature and love of a challenging debate or discussion made her a pleasure to be around. Jenna had big plans and big dreams and the potential to reach them … then, at the age of 17, she was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PPAH).

Read More.

Jenna Lowe (Passed away - 8th June 2015)

Lung

Transplant

It was the 10th of December 2014 when we got the call – there was a match for our beautiful girl. A flurry of emergency flights, packing of medication, ambulances and precise evacuation plan saw our entire family in Johannesburg within 4 hours … this was our chance to save our girl. Our hope.

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Monique

Jardine

Editor's Note: Monique Jardine, 15 years old, was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension in 2001. This is her story.

Gauteng, South Africa—When I was a small child, they first diagnosed me with asthma; and at the age of four, I was diagnosed with an ASD (hole in the heart). The doctors thought that was why I was so tired. This went on until I was about 11 years old. In October 2000, I started to get more tired and blue around the lips after activities, so my parents and the doctors became more concerned about what was happening to me.

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Monique Jardine (Passed away - 28th May 2005)

Amanda

Jardine

Hi, I am Monique’s mom, Amanda. I thought it would be good for Monique to tell you her story herself. The past three and a half years have been difficult for us as a family in coming to terms with what is happening to Monique. However, we get the strength to go on and not give up. Monique is so positive—she is an inspiration to us all. We have decided to start a support group in Gauteng for families that have to deal with this situation. We have also found that many doctors are not familiar with the disease and many times patients are treated for something else. We, therefore, will be sending information to cardiologists to create awareness about this condition. Should any parents with teenagers or children like to know more about dealing with this condition, please do not hesitate to contact me!

- Amanda Jardine, amandaja@absa.co.za

Editor's Note: Here is an update as of January 5, 2005.

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Champa

Bhoola

My name is Champs Bhoola and I am 60 years old. On 30 September 2003, my nightmare began. I lost my eldest brother through sad circumstances. His sudden demise made me realize that life is very short and should be lived to the fullest. After returning from the funeral, I felt depressed, restless and above all, very breathless and tired. I was unable to climb a few steps or work for long without feeling breathless and extremely exhausted. The condition persisted in spite of my trying to come to terms with what had happened to our family.

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Pamela

Manilal

(Passed away - 26th Jan 2006)

My name is Pamela Manilal and I was diagnosed with Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) a year ago. I am 36 years old and the mother of three children ages 6, 12, and 14.

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Sagree

Naidoo

"I take each day for what it is but will never give up hoping."

My name is Sagree Naidoo and I am 35 years old. I have a son who is 10 years old. Since 1997, I have been diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease/systemic lupus erythematosus. I was coping well with this illness that is caused by an abnormal immune system until November 2001. Then I began feeling tired, short of breath and drained of energy so much so that my work and my home life were affected. I was referred to a cardiologist and following an echo and EKG test, it was discovered that I had mild PH. The cardiologist explained to me that very little could be done and that there was no treatment. This news was devastating.

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(Passed away - 18th May 2005)

Sharon

Chetty

Editor's Note: It is with a heavy heart that PHASA must report the passing of Sharon Chetty on May 29, 2008. Her story is one that continues to inspire many around the world to keep fighting no matter what the odds, because one person can make a difference.

"I am so proud of being a part of the PH Association and being able to help someone else, that sometimes I forget that I have this disease."

My name is Sharon Chetty, and I am a 41-year-old mother of two boys ages 16 and 20. In 1998, I was experiencing slight shortness of breath and lots of coughing and was being treated for asthma. After being on treatment for over two months, there was no change and I started seeing different specialists and physicians with no joy. I had EKGs done, plus X-rays, but nothing could be picked up. As my condition worsened, I eventually decided to see a pulmonologist in June 2001. He did a lung function test, checked my x-rays and said he could not see much wrong and prescribed a nasal spray and a cough suppressant, as he thought it could be a post-nasal drip causing the cough.

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Sharon Chetty (Passed away - 29 May 2008)