Jeromy Dickey has always dreamed of joining the military. Since he was
a little boy, that’s always been his goal. Unfortunately, after
graduating from high school a couple years ago, it looked like his childhood
asthma diagnosis was going to stand in the way of achieving his dream.
“Two years ago, I was not medically qualified because I had lung
problems as a child,” Jeromy said. “The devastating part was
when I took it [test results] back to the recruiters. I had spent my whole
life working toward getting to the military.”
With his military dreams dashed, Jeromy switched gears and started college
working toward an associate’s degree in fire science at
Casper College, which he just recently earned. While it wasn’t his first choice,
between school and volunteering with the local fire department, he was
satisfied to work toward his goal of helping people in some way, even
if it wasn’t by serving his country.
In the last two years he’s also concentrated on staying in shape.
So, when his mom told him about the
Cardiopulmonary Services at
Campbell County Memorial Hospital, he jumped at the opportunity to see if he could try to pass the pulmonary
function test again.
“They gave me tips for strengthening my lungs to try to perform better
on the test,” Jeromy said.
For the next three to four months, Jeromy practiced the techniques provided
by respiratory therapists at CCMH and a physical therapist at another
location that included inflating a balloon and wearing a mask while running.
Coupled with an aggressive exercise regimen, Jeromy hoped it would improve
his outcome on the test. When he went to CCMH in October to take the test,
he passed and was accepted into the
U.S. Army. He starts basic training in January 2018.
“For me, it means that I can do what I think I was put on this Earth
to do,” Jeromy said. “I can give back to my country and help
When CCH registered respiratory therapist
Jody Christopherson, RRT, R. EEG T, learned that Jeromy had been accepted into the U.S. Army,
she said she got teary-eyed, realizing that he would be able to serve
his country like he always dreamed. Helping people is the part of her
job that Jody enjoys the most working in the hospital’s Cardiopulmonary
“It’s a hard test and it was amazing to know he’s going
to be in the military, and be the backbone of our country,” Jody
said. “I like the ability to really know about the patient and devote
that time to them.”
Jody has spent 20 years as a respiratory therapist, helping patients with
chronic lung diseases. In her role now, she performs many pulmonary tests,
which she said aren’t always the easiest tests for patients to go
through. But over time, she’s worked to understand her patients
and to help them work through the tests’ challenges, so she can
get the results needed to help with their diagnosis and treatment.
“I have to push them to limits where they’re short of breath,”
Jody said. “I help get them through the test and get the results
they need and be there for them.”
For Jeromy, the extra coaching and tips helped make his dream come true,
something he’ll be forever grateful to the hospital’s Cardiopulmonary
Services for helping him achieve.
CCMH Cardiopulmonary Services provides comprehensive care and testing for
patients suffering from breathing disorders caused by heart or lung disease.
Learn more about the services they provide at
www.cchwyo.org/CPS. Outpatient services are by appointment and require a physician order.
Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer