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A breath of relief for people living with lung disease

PUBLISHED: 22:39 21 June 2018

The ‘Singing for Breathing’ group run by Breathe Easy Norwich provides support for people living with lung disease as well as their relatives. Credit: Supplied by Breathe Easy Singing Group

The 'Singing for Breathing' group run by Breathe Easy Norwich provides support for people living with lung disease as well as their relatives. Credit: Supplied by Breathe Easy Singing Group

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A choir has struck a chord for people living with lung disease in Norfolk.

The ‘Singing for Breathing’ group run by Breathe Easy Norwich provides support for people living with lung disease as well as their relatives.

The group meets twice a month at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) to sing, enjoy a cup of tea and interact with others who are living with breathing difficulties and lung disease.

Patients with diseases ranging from asthma to emphysema group together and sing renditions of well-loved songs.

Their repertoire includes songs like Robbie Williams’ Angels, Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and Bill Withers’ Lean On Me.

Paula Browne, NNUH senior respiratory nurse specialist and lead for the singing group, said: “Research shows that singing has great benefits for those living with lung disease such as gaining control over breathing, reducing exacerbation of symptoms, improving lung capacity and enhancing wellbeing.”

Denise Harkins has been a patient for nine years since she was diagnosed with emphysema.

The 61-year-old has been singing with the group for more than two years.

Ms Harkins said: “The group is as much about having a good time as it is for building on our breathing techniques to help with our lung conditions.”

The Shipdham resident recently underwent a double-lung transplant after finding a suitable donor.

She said: “My lung capacity was down to 23pc and I was taking hours to do simple tasks such as making the bed,

“My donor has given me a second chance at life and I am so grateful for each and every day.”

Ms Harkins and her family are now raising funds for Breathe Easy Norwich and have made plans for a bingo and raffle event on Thursday, July 5.

She said: “The difference in my quality of life since the transplant is phenomenal – the word thank you just doesn’t feel enough,” she added, “I’m sure I can speak on behalf of the entire choir group when I share my thanks to Paula for her commitment and passion to Breathe Easy and how the work of the charity supports us all.”

For more information about ‘Singing for Breathing’, please call Paula Browne on 01603 289779.

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