Lilani Stumpff

Lilani Stumpff successfully weaned from the ventilator at Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital

Liliani was given a 1-in-10 chance of ever weaning off a ventilator after being diagnosed with acute hypoxic respiratory failure.

Lilani Stumpff, 66, has always been on the go. Now retired, Lilani worked several jobs, including as a nurse, a secretary, and an account technician for the city of Sterling, CO. Even in retirement, she kept herself busy. Lilani lives in Sterling with her husband of 48 years, Bill. They love spending time with their two children and three grandchildren. Lilani is a retired Red Cross volunteer. She is the current president of the Lions Club in Sterling and the district secretary for District 6 Northeast. Lilani is also the Queen Mum of the local Red Hat Society.

A year ago, everything changed for Lilani. It began with shortness of breath and coughing. Doctors diagnosed her with hypersensitivity pneumonitis and interstitial lung disease. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an inflammation of the lungs due to allergens. Interstitial lung disease refers to a group of disorders that cause scarring of lung tissue. The scarring makes breathing more difficult. Lilani worked with a pulmonologist to manage her conditions with medications. Things seemed to be going well, until late November.

After coughing up blood and experiencing increasing shortness of breath, Lilani admitted to the hospital. She was diagnosed with acute chronic hypoxic respiratory failure due to an exacerbation of her interstitial lung disease. Doctors placed her on a ventilator and gave her a one-in-ten chance of ever weaning from it.

Sure enough, Lilani would beat those odds.

Soon, Lilani transferred to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. Several factors contributed to her decision to choose NCLTAH. Lilani heard good things about the hospital from former patients in Sterling. Her family toured the hospital and loved it. “I had a gut feeling this was a great place,” Lilani stated. “And it turned out to be!”

Lilani observed the healing environment created by the staff at NCLTAH. “Everyone was always saying ‘hi’ to me and smiling,” she noted. “Everyone from the doctors to the maintenance staff have been so wonderful to me. The whole atmosphere is full of encouraging and caring staff, helping me to get recovered and home.”

Home is exactly where Lilani is headed.

Throughout her stay, Lilani’s goal remained constant. Her desire to resume her duties as the president of the Lions Club motivated her to recover. She is excited to be able to take part in their upcoming 100-year celebration in June. Lilani continues to work toward her next set of goals: walking the park by her house and seeing her granddaughter graduate in the spring of 2021.