Patricia Maloney from United Kingdom

Treatment details:

Age at the time of intervention: 71

Treatment centre: James Cook Hospital / Middlesbrough, UK

Doctor name: Dr Sathyamurthy

Date of intervention: 10 Oct 2018

My life before the treatment:

Before my health deteriorated, I was so sociable! The true definition of a people person. I used to work in a library, which was a great place to meet people as well as read books. I was always very active. I loved going to my keep fit classes and socialising with all the women who went along.

I was diagnosed with emphysema over five years ago, and have been on oxygen therapy for the past three and half years.

I kept getting chest infections and was becoming breathless when I was pottering around the garden or going shopping. I was looking after my husband at the time who became ill in 2012, so that was my main focus. But I knew something wasn’t right with my lungs. It turned out to be emphysema.

My husband went into a care home after a long stay in the hospital. I wanted nothing more than to see him every day. But I was so exhausted and breathless, I could only make it every other day.

Things got much worse after I lost my husband in July 2018. One night, my lung collapsed. I lay in bed panicking. How would I get help? I managed to find the strength to get downstairs to call the ambulance, and was taken to hospital.

Soon after, I found out about the Zephyr Valve treatment. Dr Joel Dunning at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough asked if I was interested in a minimally invasive surgery that could help me breathe more easily. He explained how the Zephyr Valves worked and showed me what they looked like. I was keen to try the treatment as I really wanted to get back to my normal, energetic, sociable self.

My life after the treatment:

I had the Zephyr Valve treatment in October 2018. Dr Sathy, as us patients call him (his full name is Dr Sathyamurthy), carried out my treatment. I was 71 at the time.

The procedure went super well, I had four tiny valves put into my lung. It was over in no time — about 20 minutes . I was put to sleep so I didn’t feel a thing.

I felt simply smashing after the treatment! I saw a difference straight away. I barely had to use any oxygen any more. I was walking up the stairs, no problem. Showering, dressing, doing housework — all without a care in the world. I wasn’t getting breathless. And what’s more, I didn’t get any more bothersome chest infections.

Recovery from the treatment was really easy. I went to pulmonary rehab for about 6 – 8 weeks. I did lots of exercises there with other people. I loved it as it was sociable — meeting people and doing a bit of exercise is what I’ve also enjoyed.

A few years down the line from my treatment and I’m older, so I do have some other health issues. But the treatment was so good for me — life changing!

Things have been tough during lockdown — as they have for everyone. I miss seeing people. That said, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here now, if it wasn’t for this treatment. So, despite these unusual times, I’m incredibly grateful for that.

I’m so looking forward to seeing my family again in person, when lockdown lifts. I can’t wait to see my sister in law who is bringing up my wonderful grandchildren. It will be so lovely to see them all again, and invite them over.

What would I say to anyone with severe emphysema who is eligible for the Zephyr Valves?

Definitely go for it! It improves your life massively.

What is the Zephyr Valve procedure?

The Zephyr Valve is intended for the treatment of patients with severe emphysema – a form of COPD. A physician uses a bronchoscope to place on average 4 tiny valves in the airways to block off the damaged areas of the lungs so air no longer gets trapped there. No cutting or incision is required and the procedure is usually completed in under an hour.

The valve placement allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and relieves the pressure on the diaphragm, which decreases shortness of breath and makes breathing easier. Patients report being able to take full breaths immediately after the procedure and within a few days are back to doing everyday tasks with ease.


The results of case studies do not necessarily allow conclusions to be drawn in other cases. Results in other cases can be different. Possible complications associated with the endobronchial valve treatment include: Pneumothorax, deterioration of the COPD symptoms, pneumonia, dyspnea and in rare cases death.

GLO-EN-859-v1 UK Patient Story – Patricia Maloney