‘Fit and healthy’ mum dies of rare illness after co-workers spot her coughing at work

A Wigan mum has died of a rare illness after colleagues noticed her coughing at work. Anne Doran was fit and healthy, always hitting the gym and taking long walks before she was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The disease, which affects only 50 in 100,000 people and has no cure, has left her struggling to breathe and bedridden. ‘Inspirational’ Anne was diagnosed with IPF in 2014 aged 58 after colleagues at Royal Liverpool University Hospital noticed she was coughing.

The former senior executive at Royal Liverpool Hospital, who worked as a magistrate and school governor despite battling the disease, died in August 2020. His family are campaigning to raise money for charity Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis .

Anne’s daughter, Louise Doran, told the Manchester Evening News: ‘She was going for a walk, going to the gym, you know she was healthy. “Then it happened and at first she wasn’t on oxygen and she could still move around.

“She was going to work coughing, and someone picked her up and said, ‘You better get it checked out’, so she did and had a lung biopsy and she was diagnosed as a idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.



Anne Doran started working as a nurse at the Royal Liverpool Hospital around 1970

“Then she had to take oxygen and she could do less and less. In the end, she was sitting on the couch, and just by raising her arm or moving a space, the oxygen in his blood was diminishing.

“Even though she was getting oxygen, her lungs couldn’t handle it because there were scars. It’s so limiting, you can’t talk, you eat less and less.



Ann Doran was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis eight years ago
Ann Doran was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis eight years ago

“You end up being bedridden and unfortunately in my mum’s experience, once you get to that point you probably don’t have much left.”

Currently, only two drugs slow the progression of the disease. Limited clinical trials exist, as do lung transplants, but they are not available for all patients.

Louise added: “They don’t know what caused it. They asked him all the usual questions: did you work in a mine, did you raise pigeons, do you smoke? And the answer was no to all those questions, so they couldn’t identify what it was.

“There are quite a few people who have it and they don’t know what caused it. There are different groups on Facebook with advice and tips for people with IPF, so they can try to support each other.



Ann and Tom Doran have been married for 45 years
Ann and Tom Doran have been married for 45 years

“But there are still people struggling there now, just like my mum was two years ago and there doesn’t seem to have been a lot of change. Charities are doing research to try to find a cure, which is great, but day-to-day things really could be so much better.

“It’s such a poor quality of life, it’s awful to see.”

Now Louise and her sister Jenny have organized a charity event in Stockport to raise money for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis which has helped their mother. They arranged an audience with author and historian Alison Weir.

The event will take place at the Guildhall in Stockport on June 30. They have also organized a re-enactment group to appear in costume and are holding a raffle. Prizes include a Dyson vacuum cleaner worth £379.99 plus autographed books donated by Tracy Borman and Tracy Chevalier.

Alison will be available for book signings and will be in conversation with Dr Martin Heale, Reader in Medieval History at the University of Liverpool.

Tickets cost £10, to book a ticket for the event, Click here .

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