Home Fund helps couple sleep peacefully

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is another in a series of articles on the Peninsula Home Fund. Click on the Home Fund button at right, print out a coupon and send it in with your donation (see below)

CHIMACUM – For Rick Crawford, sleep was anything but peaceful or restful.

He had developed severe obstructive sleep apnea, which causes a person to stop breathing periodically while sleeping.

Its effects were life-threatening – to himself and others.

Left untreated. it dramatically increases the risk for a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical conditions.

It made him dangerous, too.

The effects of sleep apnea are comparable to being drunk – resulting in deadly car crashes and work-related accidents.

His wife, Helen, “would punch me at night whenever I stopped breathing,” said Rick.

“We’d go to bed, and she’d lie awake at night listening to me breath, making me turn over every time I stopped.”

Said Helen: “It was so scary when he’d just stop breathing,” adding her husband would wake up tired and then nod off while driving the car.

“Just after 10 to 15 minutes of driving, I’d get tired and have to turn off the side of the road,” said Rick.

“We were both worried I’d cause an accident.”

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