A Northumberland County pastor is sleeping well these days after finding a solution to her sleep apnea.
WATSONTOWN, Pennsylvania – Pastors James and Jilline Bond work to minister to the people of Revival Tabernacle Church near Watsontown. But what many church members did not know was that Jilline had struggled with sleep apnea for more than five years. Jilline tried different CPAP machines, but they got claustrophobic.
“It woke me up in the middle of the night. It felt like air was blowing in my face. It interrupted my sleep more than I didn’t use it,” said Jilline.
Last summer, Jilline saw an ad for “Inspire” on social media. At the beginning of the year, she had the device implanted under her skin. It is operated with a remote control and opens a person’s airway so they can breathe normally.
“What this device does, instead of pushing air down, is what CPAP does – it pushes air into your throat to get into your lungs – it removes the obstruction out of the way. The most common getting in the way is the tongue, “said Dr. Neerav Goyal, director of head and neck surgical oncology at Penn State Health’s Milton Hershey Medical Center.
Dr. Goyal says the Inspire device is changing the game for many people who suffer from sleep apnea. He compares it to a pacemaker.
“Instead of stimulating the heart, this device stimulates the tongue, and it stimulates the tongue relative to your breath,” said Dr. Goyal.
“I’m going camping. I’m traveling the world. I can take this with me and just push that button and I’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep,” said Jilline.
For a busy pastor like Jilline, a good night’s sleep is a necessity.
“Living a healthy life is an amazing quality for me. I can’t even thank God enough for finding this and having a great surgeon.”
Dr. Goyal says the Inspire device implantation is becoming increasingly popular. He’s already booked for the next year.