SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — State representative and pastor Steve Hickey thought his getting winded after climbing flights of stairs was a sign of him being out of shape.
But Hickey tells the Argus Leader that a trip to the doctor this fall revealed a far more serious affliction — pulmonary fibrosis.
The mysterious and deadly disease has no known treatment, and Hickey’s only long-term hope is a lung transplant.
He’s on the waiting list but doesn’t expect to receive a new lung for several years. He’s hoping he doesn’t need it sooner.
Hickey says he’s trying to stay positive about the ailment, in which scar tissue gradually decreases the lungs’ capacity to provide air. He continues preaching on Sundays and will be making speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives.