PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - 32-year old Dana Green keeps pace with a house full of boys. It's hard to believe just a few months ago she couldn't keep up at all.
"I couldn't run at all with them or carry my son around," Dana said.
In fact, she could barely breathe.
"Even talking on the phone I could feel that I was winded," she recalled to FOX 29's Joyce Evans.
A simple cold about two years ago triggered a rare and very dangerous condition that literally knocked the wind out of her. Then it got worse.
That set off a chain of misdiagnoses and unnecessary treatments including allergy induced asthma.
"So they gave me an inhaler and said 'Come back in a month, it was no better," Dana recalled.
Her second misdiagnosis was a deviated septum obstructing her nasal passage.
"Again, I said how did I wake up with this deviated septum? Oh sometimes it just grows that way OK so I had surgery and it wasn't any better," Dana said
14 months later this young wife and mother was slowly suffocating and nobody knew why until she came to Temple's Lung Center.
Dr. Ahmed Soliman took one look down Dana's windpipe and discovered.
"There it is... we're just below the vocal chords this is the windpipe and look how much narrower - this is 70-80% narrowed at this point?"
It's about the circumference of a pencil. This is known as Idiopathic Subglottic Stenosis, a mysterious condition with no known cause affecting mostly women in their 30's and 40's who have not had something like a breathing tube previously inserted down their windpipe.
Soliman say he thinks it's a genetic pre-disposition just lurking until something triggers it. Soliman has treated dozens of these cases in recent years.
Many people like Dana are rushed into surgery after their diagnosis.
Weeks after her procedure, there are no complaints from Dana and her boys. They are all grateful this doctor solved the mystery.
"He's, definitely, my hero," she said
Doctor Soliman says it is possible Dana's wind pipe could start closing again since nobody knows what causes it in the first place.
He urges women in their 30's and 40's, with unexplained breathing problems, to get several medical opinions immediately, to avoid suffering like Dana or much worse.