UCLA is barely West Coast medical center to supply pioneering surgery for phrenic nerve damage.
Rare condition prevents diaphragm from getting the message to breathe.
David Powell couldn’t catch his breath. The 35-year-old from San Diego got winded walking up the steps, exercising and even just bending over to tie his shoes. His favorite pastime, mountaineering, became inconceivable. But doctors, unable to diagnose his condition, told Powell that he would just must live with it.
Frustrated, he turned to the Web and discovered that his symptoms might be the results of phrenic nerve damage. The phrenic nerves — there’s one on both sides of the body — send messages from the brain to the diaphragm telling the body to breathe. Powell also learned that the damage could possibly berepaired through surgery.
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