KIDNEY STORIES: AMY NEEDS A KIDNEY

Click on “About” to learn more. Amy suffered from Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). Her kidneys were removed in 2006. She’s been on the waiting list for a donor kidney for nearly 9 years, on dialysis nearly 11, needing an angel donor with BLOOD TYPE 0. 

Description
Amy suffered from Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD),  the most frequent life-threatening, hereditary disease.  Amy was diagnosed with PKD at the age of 21.  She married her sweetheart and raised a family of five children including a set of twins.  Their sons are serving in the military.  They now have 9 grandchildren.  Due to damaged kidneys from this disease she went into Stage… 5 kidney disease or End Stage Renal Failure requiring dialysis to live which is equal to daily life support. 
She has been on dialysis nearly 11 years (started dialysis at age 44) and on the deceased donor list for nearly 9 years has never had a transplant.  By the numbers she has had so far approximately 3000 treatments lasting more than 24,000 hours over the years.  She has had more than 13 major surgeries and 75 procedures.  She is running out of veins to use for dialysis.  She is still young (just turned 54) and has so much left to do, see, accomplish. Amy needs a kidney transplant as soon as possible. Once she receives a healthy kidney, her chances for a full recovery and healthy, long life increase drastically. With so many people waiting for a transplant (currently 93,000 waiting for a kidney) finding a living donor is the best option!
Amy and her family live in southwest Missouri, USA and she is currently listed at KUMC Transplant center in Kansas City Kansas.
The following are the most important things to know about organ donation.
* Most people are born with 2 kidneys. Studies show that kidney donors live a normal, healthy life with only one kidney and are no more likely to suffer kidney failure. To read a study from the “New England Journal of Medicine” about kidney donors’ health after their transplant, go to: www.lkdn.org/Long_Term_Effect_Kidney_Donors_Health.pdf An interesting fact to realize is 1 in every 750 people are born with one kidney and their life expectancy is the same as someone who is born with 2 kidneys.
* As a result of new anti-rejection drugs, the “matching” of donor/recipient has become much easier. For situations where the donor/recipient are not compatible, “kidney paired exchange” programs allow these donors to be paired and matched with other incompatible pairs. To learn more about the matching process go to: www.lkdn.org/LKDN_Matching.pdf For more information about kidney paired exchanges go to: www.lkdn.org/LKDN_Paired_Exchanges.pdf
* Organ donors need to be in good health, without high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney, heart, liver or other major health issues. For more details on donor qualifications go to: www.lkdn.org/who_can_be_living_donor.html
* Donating a kidney involves a major surgical procedure and the donor is usually in the hospital 1-3 days. The recuperation period is anywhere from 14-21 days for those with an office job, and about 6 weeks if the individual’s work entails more physical labor. The majority of the procedures are done laparoscopically, with 3-4 small holes for the instruments. A small incision is made to remove the transplanted kidney.
* Medical expenses relating to the transplant are completely paid by the recipient’s insurance company.
In 2005 Amy suffered a severe and life-threatening blood infection (sepsis).  This left her suffering from what is known as hemolysis and needing 11 blood transfusions.  The transfusions drastically increased her antibody levels which make her a very very difficult match.  While others at her transplant center typically only wait about 2 years before receiving a deceased donor organ, Amy has been waiting 8 years and still no transplant.  Amy has also gone through what is known as IVIG therapy numerous times in an effort to lower her antibodies and enable her to be a better match for a donor organ.  She is still a tough match. 
Amy started out on in-center dialysis and after about 8 months switched over to home hemodialysis with her loving husband as a care partner.  She has been doing home hemodialysis for over 9 years and has had numerous surgeries, procedures etc.  She just lost her 10th arm access for hemodialysis.  She recently had a PD (peritoneal dialysis) catheter placed in her belly to try and do home dialysis using the peritoneum in her abdomen.  After just a few weeks it was evidently not working (another hospital stay) and she is back on home hemodialysis.  Amy and her family are praying and hoping this dialysis will last her long enough to find a donor organ and be dialysis free. She has endured countless procedures, surgeries and “hiccups” along her journey, including another infection requiring hospitalization in May 2012 – that will make her 5th bout of MRSA sepsis.
Diabetes is the #1 cause of needing dialysis in the U.S., with high blood pressure the #2 cause.  An estimated 100,000 people join the ranks of dialysis patients each year, yet the number of those remaining on dialysis remains the same due to the high mortality rate.  If more people signed an organ donor card or stepped forward to donate blood, bone marrow, tissue and organs like kidneys while still living so many more lives could be saved and those waiting (the current 93,000 for kidneys) would be able to live longer, healthier lives. 
If you are interested in donating for/to Amy or anyone else remember that just a few days in the hospital for you could give Amy or another person waiting 15 or more years of dialysis free living. You must have blood type O (for Amy)and be in good health.
Amy’s transplant coordinator is at
University of Kansas Medical Center Transplant center Tham Hoffman 913-588-5049 email jhoffman@kumc.edu 
Even if you don’t match Amy you could be a match for one of the other 93,000 waiting on the deceased donor list in the United States and could be a life-saving option for someone else.  While you are at it, PLEASE like her page and spread the word about living organ donation and especially help Amy fulfill her dreams and wishes.  Thank you kindly.  Blessings & Peace,
http://donatelife.net/ http://www.lkdn.org/ http://www.unos.org/ http://www.transplantliving.org/living-donation/facts/ http://kidneyschool.org/ http://homedialysis.org/ http://www.kidney.org/ http://www.aakp.org/ http://www.kidneyfund.org/ www.pkdcure.org
 
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