Julie Dodds arrived back at the family’s Kamloops home on Sunday afternoon, less than four weeks after undergoing a kidney transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.
Julie, a mother of three boys, had the transplant on Oct. 28, with her younger brother, Jason Brauer of Port McNeill, B.C., as the living donor.
Julie was welcomed home by friends and neighbours who staged what has become known as a COVID parade. Well done, folks!
Julie’s transplant team will continue to monitor her progress through regular bloodwork. She also will go back to St. Paul’s early in December for an in-person checkup. And, of course, she will be in regular contact with the nephrologists and staff in the renal clinic at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.
Meanwhile, the Backmeyer family of Kamloops continues to wait and hope for a kidney for Ferris, who will be turning four early in 2021.
Just because things have been fairly quiet on the home front, especially after a sometimes hectic summer, doesn’t mean that nothing has been happening.
“Somehow we’ve managed to stay home the past couple weeks even though there’s some big stuff going on with Miss Ferris,” Lindsey, Ferris’s mother, wrote on Facebook late last week.
A week earlier, Ferris had “developed a leak internally and she had about four nights where dialysis didn’t go well.”
In peritoneal dialysis, fluid goes into the body and fluid drains from the body, removing toxins in the process, a job that is done by the kidneys of a healthy person.
Ferris wasn’t draining properly, primarily from her day dwell, and Lindsey said she had gained close to a kilogram that would be fluid weight.
“Her tummy got real big,” Lindsey wrote, adding that Ferris didn’t appear at all bothered as she “was acting her normal self.”
They decided to stop her day dwell “because she wasn’t draining it and was absorbing/pocketing the fluid.”
There were a number of chats with staff from B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.
And, as Lindsey pointed out, “It’s a lot of ‘extra’ on top of all the regular things that keep a family busy.”
But being able to communicate with BCCH meant they were able to stay at home “so I’ll take it!”
At the same time, Ferris was doing well with her PD at night “when we hit her with high-concentration fluids and we now have her weight back down.”
One other thing . . . it doesn’t matter your age, dialysis is a draining experience. With Ferris, Lindsey says, “Dialysis literally sucks the life right out of her. She laid around for a few days” but then one night had a great drain and the next day “she was amazing again!”
However, there will be a trip to Vancouver in the near future.
“They are concerned about increased risk of peritonitis if there’s fluid just sitting in there so are having us come down for an MRI and urology consult,” Lindsey explained. “I’m trying to stay optimistic that they will recommend leaving it alone as long as dialysis is working.”
Ferris is flanked by the bigs — Tavia (left) and Ksenia. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)
And through it all there are two older sisters — Ksenia and Tavia — who also need care and attention.
“My bigs needed some fun with Mom and I really wanted to try get some pics of the three of them,” Lindsey wrote, then added: “It’s hard to believe, Ferris has been on dialysis for 2.5 years. Over half her life. She’s so full of personality and is a really funny kid. She might actually be the most annoying little sister ever but they love her so much. It’s time for something better for her.
“A successful kidney transplant is her best bet and we feel desperate for it sometimes. Well, most of the time really.
“I’ve learned time and time again that it all changes in an instant. It’s a lesson I’d prefer not to have thrown in my face on the regular but I feel like I’m coping a bit better each time . . . so there’s that!
“Last Wednesday it was like ‘yup we are going’ . . . did laundry, folded socks, had a packing list in my head and was ready to do the things. PD not working any more means hemo but I really don’t like not having a back up for our back-up plan. It’s a sick feeling.
“Come on kidney!!”
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.