Meet David Kirby – a fiercely independent 29 year old who lives and thrives despite the challenges of Muscular dystrophy.

Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle tone. Symptoms of the most common variety begin in childhood with muscle rigidity and severely compromised mobility which gradually progress and result in restrictive lung disease with chronic respiratory challenges.

David attended the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. He moved away from the support of his family, including his mother, to go to college. He lived by himself in special housing equipped with volunteer student aides. Back home after his time in school, he combined his technical ability with his desire to help others with the start of a person-to-person medical device exchange business.

David is very involved with his treatment. He takes a detailed approach with his respiratory therapist, Michael Cooper, to make his therapy work for him. After 6 years using the Philips Trilogy 100, they decided it was time to try something different. Michael suggested the Vivo 65 to provide better synchronized ventilation for more comfortable treatment. It took an adjustment period but soon he found that the tidal volumes the Vivo 65 provided during the day were more comfortable. “(with) the Trilogy…I get the breath and then it stops before I… feel fully expanded.  Or … I feel slightly winded when I wear it…”

David uses a Vivo 65 with a nasal mask during the day. According to Michael, David’s speech has become much clearer and easier since switching to the Vivo 65.

David and Michael also worked to tinker with his  backup inspiration time to give himself more time between breaths. “So the thing that worked for me is how long in between each breath.  … I ended up figuring it out that in order to get the same amount of time in between breaths with the higher breath rate, I had to actually lower the backup time slightly … Because I thought I was hyperventilating because it was just like a breath, a breath, a breath with no break. … I mean it …went from 1.5 to 1.2 seconds as a backup time.  So just an extra .3 seconds ….  But once I did that, then it worked.”

At night David uses a full face mask with the Vivo 65. The nighttime ventilation helps stabilize David’s CO2 values. His therapist, Michael, is pleased with the outcome on the Vivo 65. As he explains, “(his) blood gases are certainly stellar from looking back over the years of utilizing Trilogy and how we had to chase and chase and chase (his) blood gases and keep increasing (his) end-tidal volumes to try to keep up with (the) CO2. …  Since (he’s) been on the Vivo, (his) CO2 (value)s have been solidly at 40.”

The Vivo 65’s eSync technology helps David to sleep more comfortably. The “way the Vivo algorithm works is more … dynamic than the Trilogy. I feel like with the Trilogy at nighttime, something goes wrong and, if I swallow some air in my stomach or the mask is leaking, it doesn’t change.  It just keeps delivering the same amount in the same way.  And that would often wake me up because … it would just keep leaking really bad or I’d keep swallowing air and I’d wake up feeling, like my stomach is really bloated.  With the Vivo that doesn’t really happen.”

According to his family and his therapist, David’s quality of life has improved since switching to the Vivo 65. It improved David’s overall ventilation while decreasing the CO2 blood levels, leaks, work of breathing and alarms at night. David states that he has more energy and truly loves the Vivo 65.