Farmington Hills, MI (June 18, 2008)--- Twenty-seven years ago, Paul Wenig, D.O., a Rheumatologist at Botsford Hospital, diagnosed Pasquale Ferretti with scleroderma, a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases. At the time, Ferretti was 34 years old, happily married with two wonderful children, a junior high school teacher and had excellent stamina. He did not realize that his life was going to change because of a chronic illness.
In 1980, Ferretti began noticing changes in his daily activities. He experienced pain, stiffness, numbness, choking episodes and other unpleasant effects. Ferretti says, “It wore me down mentally and physically. I naturally became discouraged and frustrated by its onslaught. I was powerless.”
Within a year, Ferretti met Dr. Paul Wenig. He was new to Botsford Hospital at the time and Ferretti was actually his first patient there. Dr. Wenig confirmed that Ferretti had scleroderma. Dr. Wenig gave Ferretti hope by telling him that the disease affects various people in different ways, and it isn’t necessarily a death sentence.
Dr. Wenig says, “Pasquale Ferretti has not let the disease take over his life. He is committed to never quitting, educating others and maintaining communication about his health with his physicians and his family. He even joined the Botsford Center for Health Improvement in Novi, Botsford’s medical model fitness center, to regain his strength and stamina. Pasquale is a true example of a survivor.”
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that affects about 300,000 Americans. Though it can strike at any time, scleroderma usually affects women between the ages of 25 and 55. It can be disfiguring, painful and, at times, fatal. The seriousness depends on what parts of the body are affected and the extent to which they are affected. Prompt and proper diagnosis and treatment by a qualified physician may minimize the symptoms of scleroderma.
Botsford Hospital, an independent 330-bed community teaching hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., was founded in 1965. Nationally recognized for quality, safety and medical education programs, Botsford has received the 2006 Governor’s Award for Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care in the Hospital Setting, and, in 2007, a three-year recertification as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Botsford’s Web address is www.botsford.org
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