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Dreams Do Come True, With the Help of CCMH's Cardiopulmonary

  • Author: Jeromy Dickey
  • Date Submitted: Jan 15, 2018

“For me, it means that I can do what I think I was put on this Earth to do. I can give back to my country and help people.”

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 Respiratory Therapy 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.

Jeromy Dickey at Cardiopulmonary Services at Campbell County Memorial HospitalFor 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 people.”

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 Respiratory Therapy department.

“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 Respiratory Therapy for helping him achieve.

CCMH Respiratory Therapy 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 Outpatient services are by appointment and require a physician order.

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer