Getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes be a challenge. For some, it’s the everyday weight of the world that keeps them awake at night, but for Nancy McBride, it was a much more serious problem that kept her and her husband from getting their zzz’s.
Thankfully, with the help of some medical intervention, they’re both sleeping a little better these days.
Nancy suffered from severe obstructive sleep apnea, requiring her to wear a tubing system to help her breathe. The noise of the system would keep both her and her husband awake, forcing her husband Mike to find another place to rest.
Nancy explained, “It still wakes me up all night long. The tubing is everywhere and it falls out, or I pull it out when I’m asleep.”
Mike added, “It’s loud,” explaining that he’s had to sleep on the couch as a result.
When Nancy visited a doctor to see if there were any alternative options, they recommended a small gadget that would monitor her breathing and send an electrical pulse to her tongue if there is an airway blockage.
The pulse informs the tongue to move forward, allowing airflow so the patient can breathe without obstruction.
The sleep clinic monitored her sleep and the results were truly eye-opening for Nancy, who explained, “Apparently I stopped breathing 58 times an hour.” She was warned: “You’re at risk. You can die.”
Dr. Maurits Boon of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, told Inside Edition: “People like Nancy are extremely desperate.”
Further, he explained how the device is implanted like a pacemaker and uses two sensors to monitor a patient’s breathing during sleep.
Nancy agreed to the four-hour surgery, which was a success. She activates the device with a remote before going to bed and now she and Mike are able to sleep a little more soundly and more quietly. Of the surgery, Nancy said, “I feel like it’s been a miracle, it’s just been amazing.”
Those commenting on the Inside Edition video shared similar stories, with one person writing: “My mom has sleep apnea, she stopped breathing every 2 seconds and I’m not making it up. She under went a sleep test and when she stops breathing she wakes up in a study. my mom stops breathing about 1000 times in a night .”
Another explained, “My grandpa has to use one of those sleep devices. He stopped breathing like 275 times on the sleep studies.”
Other commenters offered alternate solutions, with one person noting: “Best cure for sleep apnea: losing weight.”
Among those who weighed in on the story on the Inside Edition Facebook page, was one person who felt that a followup sleep study should have been done to properly show the device’s effectiveness. They wrote: “I watched this story and was disappointed at the end. You should have had her have another sleep study and compare results.”
For more information about the device, visit the Inspire therapy website, which further discusses the system as well as a STAR clinical trial, the results of which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Of those participating in the trial, 78 percent saw a reduction in sleep apnea events per hour.