PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Just taking a breath of air was excruciating for one Montgomery County woman.
She said at the point where she was barely living, she turned to Temple Health for life-saving surgery.
Sherry Sikora cannot contain her excitement as she talks about her upcoming trip to Hawaii. For her, the vacation would have been impossible a year ago.
"My quality of life was zero, I was unable to do many things that a normal person would be able to do of my age," she explained.
Sikora was living with chronic asthma and struggling to breathe. For years her condition was treated with endless medications.
"I was on chronic steroid use, antibiotic therapy to prevent any lung infections, a lot of inhalers," she said.
Sikora thought this was life. But that all changed when she met Dr. Kartik Shenoy, Associate Professor of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery at Temple Health.
"Sometimes asthmatic patients think they just need to live with it and that's not true," said Dr. Shenoy.
Dr. Shenoy performed a series of bronchial thermaplasties on Sikora.
"We go in with a bronchoscopy, which is a small thin tube into the airway. We take a catheter, go further out into the airway and apply a small amount of heat to the airway," he explained.
The procedure opens the airway making it easier for the patient to breathe. Sikora is now steroid free.
"I can kick a ball," she said. "Oh gosh, I'm a new Sherry, I'm living my life. Dr. Shenoy has been my savior, my grace, he has saved my life."
Dr. Shenoy said if you are still suffering get a second opinion.
"Go to Temple Lung, go to Temple Lung, go to Temple Lung," said Sikora emphatically.
Moves in Medicine: Getting a second opinion for your asthma