Conquering COPD – Massey Te Ruki

Conquering COPD – Massey Te Ruki
24 November 2017


Breathe Hawke's Bay's new kaumātua Matua Massey Te Ruki, shares with us how regular exercise supported by a BHB exercise subsidy, helps with his COPD management.

A smoker for almost 30 years, Matua Massey Te Ruki’s Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) diagnosis came in 2007 almost 10 years after he had quit. At first his doctor suspected asthma but Massey, who had seen whānau sick with asthma, was adamant his condition was different. He used the inhalers prescribed to him and learnt to recognise the times of years and situations he would feel short of breath.

It was at Green Prescription five years ago that he was first introduced to Breathe Hawke’s Bay (BHB). He found a number of ex-smokers with COPD attending and was interested to hear that BHB offered an exercise subsidy to members to encourage physical activity as part of their condition management. He’d already found exercise, through pulmonary rehab, to greatly benefit his COPD management and got in touch with BHB. He qualified for the subsidy and has been a member ever since. As well as recommending BHB’s services and making regular donations; a short while ago he agreed to support the organisation by coming on board as our designated kaumātua.

Massey works out six times a week, most weeks, for about 45 minutes per session. He says missing sessions affects his condition ‘Big time’. “I really miss it after 2-3 days if I’m away,” he explains. He recently had a respiratory review in the BHB clinic and credits his workouts for the control he has of his COPD.  “I find my arthritis restricts my exercising more than my COPD. The exercise really helps to keep my condition under good control,” he says.

We have exercise subsidies available across a range of activities, for both adults and children. Criteria apply. Contact us on 0800 ASTHMA (278 462) for more information.