SHELBYVILLE, IL – Louis Murphy is a common, friendly face in Shelbyville. Twice a day on school days, he mans the crosswalk for school children. He has a big smile and a warm hello for everyone in earshot.
Murphy smoked cigarettes for more than 50 years and won his battle against its addiction. At the time he quit in 1991, he smoked four packs a day. He began to notice shortness in his breath.
He said once he made up his mind to walk away from them it was over. He weaned himself off the nicotine by using over-the-counter patches. He used a high-dosage patch continually for 30 days, stepped down to a lower level for two weeks and then walked away from the addiction for good.
“It was amazing how much better I felt after I quit,” Murphy said. “I took the money I used to buy cigarettes and bought a 1991 Ford truck instead with the cash. Outside of marrying my wife, it’s the best thing I have ever done for myself. If I hadn’t quit, I wouldn’t be here. Plus, I don’t know how I could have ever afforded to keep the habit. It’s an expensive habit to have.
“My pulmonologist told me that I conquered the second hardest to quit substance known to man. He said the only worse addiction is cocaine. But I didn’t do it alone. Jennifer Gatton was a huge help. She pushed me. All of the girls at the hospital’s pulmonary-cardio rehab were great.”
Jennifer Gatton, RN, said, “It’s very rewarding to see a patient go from struggling to breathe and to walk to what Louis can do. He was diligent in working towards a healthier self, and he wanted to improve. It’s a pleasure to see that happen. Louis is one of those guys who makes me smile when I think just how hard he worked to change his life.”
The Great American Smoke Out is scheduled for Thursday, November 15. It’s the day that Americans who smoke are encouraged to lay down their cigarettes for the last time and begin their journey to wellness. Join Murphy and throw out the cigarettes for a healthier and happier life. HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is ready to help. Please speak with your provider about ways to end your addiction and how pulmonary rehabilitation can help you feel better.