MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota man is helping unveil a new technology to treat a rare disorder that he is living with.
More than 30,000 Americans are estimated to have Cystic Fibrosis. It is a life-threatening condition that causes a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs and other organs.
Without treatment to loosen the mucus, it can lead to infection and even death.
When 26-year-old Nik Job was diagnosed with the disorder as a baby, he said his life expectancy was closer to 6 years.
Now, the life expectancy is closer to 40 years, thanks to improvements in technology.
“A lot more people are living longer with this and having families and full-time jobs,” Job said.
Because of that progression, Job said he is passionate about helping create improvements for treatment so patients live life on their own terms.
Job now works for Hill-Rom, which created a new vest called the Monarch Airway Clearance System.
With the vest, patients can get their treatment on the move, instead of sitting in one place hooked up to a machine like was once common.
Job showed WCCO the vest and explained the vest has eight PODs, or Pulmonary Oscillating Discs, which direct targeted kinetic energy to the chest to loosen mucus, which patients then get rid of through coughing.
Job uses the treatment twice daily for 30 minutes.
“You can multi-task, you can get ready for work in the morning, you can get ready for school in the morning, you can go get your mail, you can let your dogs out,” Job said.
Job said he knows 30 minutes may not seem like a long time for many people, but being able to move while using the treatment helps patients feel more in control and able to live life to the fullest.
“This is a mission,” Job said. “It is humbling to be able to help other patients.”
The vest is for patients 15 years and older.
The company said the vest can cost thousands of dollars to make to make but insurance can help cover the cost in many cases.
To learn more about the vest and the walk for Cystic Fibrosis happening next Saturday, click here.