Husband, father – “Before my diagnosis I was sick about 50 percent of the year”

Benjamin Slaughter went through six years of pulmonary issues – including two bouts of pneumonia before he finally had answers.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes,

“Chronically Healthy.” That’s the term Benjamin Slaughter uses to describe his childhood. He had no issues until about 19 years ago.

He was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and his life turned into what he describes as a “roller coaster of issues.” A graduate of Avon High School and Boston College, Slaughter was living in Atlanta at the time. He was working with doctors to manage the arthritis when new symptoms started to occur.

“I was fighting something on and off throughout the year. Basically I was sick about 50 percent of the year,” said Slaughter, who has been married to his wife Darla for 15 years. They have three children – Isaac, 11, Sterling, 9, and Viviana, 6. His illness caused him to miss his kids’ sports and his favorite activities – hiking and running.

He was hospitalized with sepsis and pneumonia and battled a constant night cough.

After moving back to Indiana he began seeing IU Health Dr. Robert Nelson. Diagnosed with Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID), Slaughter receives monthly Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg). CVID is an antibody deficiency that leaves the immune system unable to defend against bacteria and viruses. The result is patients often get reoccurring respiratory infections.

“This has made a big difference in my life,” said Slaughter. “Since I’ve been doing the treatments I haven’t been sick and I haven’t missed my kids’ activities.”