Skip to main content

Meet Ilsa from Southend

Ilsa at 62, received a letter inviting her for a Targeted Lung Health Check.  

Ilsa from Southend is a wife, mum of two grown up children and four grandchild (with one on the way), she is keen to share her story to encourage people who may have received an invitation for a FREE lung health check not to delay contacting the Targeted Lung Health Check nurses.

In July 2022 Ilsa received a letter inviting her onto the Targeted Lung Health Check Programme. At the time Ilsa, who had been smoking for 46 years, was sceptical of calling the Targeted Lung Health nurses at first.  However, having experienced recent difficulties with her breathing and subsequently prescribed an inhaler from her doctor she decided to call the number to find out more about the programme.

“Following some initial questions regarding my lung health the team invited me for a CT scan.  I was naturally scared at the thought of going for a CT scan as I was well aware I had been smoking for many years and didn’t know what they may or may not find. 

The scan itself was quick and efficient and the nurses were lovely.  A little while later I received a letter which was quickly followed up with a telephone call from the nurse to say the scan had detected a nodule on my lung and I would be invited for a follow-up scan in three-months to see if it had grown.  I put the phone down in shock and cried for two days all the time thinking ‘why me, why didn’t I give up smoking years ago and the kids are going to kill me’. 

After I got over the initial shock my mindset changed instantly the first thing I did was give up smoking and I am adamant that I will never smoke another cigarette again.  I’m not going to lie it hasn’t been easy but I feel as though I’ve been given a second chance to be with my family and see my grandchildren grow up.

My follow up appointment is due in September 2022 I am a little anxious but I know whatever the outcome of the scan detecting it earlier gives me far greater treatment options and chance of survival. 

My husband, who at the time like me was a smoker, received a letter for a targeted lung health assessment.  Fortunately, he did not require any further treatment however since receiving my results he too has quit smoking which is fantastic.

I feel very lucky that I received the letter and I am so grateful that I’ve been given a second chance.  I’m not sure at this stage what the future holds but I would like to urge anyone reading this if you have received a letter don’t delay get your lungs checked out today. “

To see if you are eligible and to find out more about the Southend Targeted Lung Health Check programme please visit: