Colin Docherty, 57, from Sunderland

Dad-of-one Colin smoked for many years before deciding to quit 11 years ago following a plea from his daughter Elizabeth, now 18, to stop. He didn’t know much about COPD but had been living with the symptoms of the condition for years – this included shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing up mucus. However, he was only diagnosed with COPD around 6 years ago.

He said: “People don't think about the years of living with COPD, it’s a slow and horrible condition. It’s not the dying that’s the bad part, it’s what you have to go through when have it. It’s the suffering and that’s much worse.

“My symptoms started with a cough, a lot of mucus, and I was struggling for breath. It crept up on me over the years, I just wish I had known about this 20 years ago.

“The damage is done now. It’s too late for me. I will never get better. I wish I could go back and stop sooner."

He added: “It does stop me from doing things, I used to play football but I can’t do that anymore. I now only go out when I really need to.”

His daughter Elizabeth said: “He has always been breathless for as long as I can remember. Whenever he came to pick me up we had to stop every few minutes and he would be struggling for breath. We used to have a season ticket for Sunderland but we had to stop that because he just couldn't get up the stairs.”

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