We all are going to remember 2020 for a lot of different things. You’re right. It wasn’t easy.
But what if your teenage son has kidney disease and needs a transplant? What if he has to travel four times a week to a hospital in another community in order to do hemodialysis for four hours at a time?
Well, here are some thoughts from Jana Tremblay of Robson, B.C., whose son Zach, 17, needs a kidney . . .
“2020 was a crazy year for all of us I think. Covid has certainly made life more challenging, especially for medically fragile people like Zach. We have had to adjust to some changes, but in the end we made it!
“As some may know, 2020 brought dialysis changes for Zach, which then brought two fistula surgeries and some life-scheduling changes as well. Instead of nightly dialysis, he goes to a Trail four times per week, four hours per run. So not fair, but it is what it is for now. Now onto the exciting updates . . .
“His first fistula wasn’t successful, so another attempt was made in August (a little further up his arm) and we are pretty thrilled to say this one has been a success.
“As hard as failure is for you to all hear about, it’s very hard to live through, so we haven’t said much until we knew this one was working. Although there were concerns in the beginning of it possibly not maturing to size, Zach did the exercise and hard work, and it paid off, because his fistula is working well. We are pretty happy to say that he had his maiden voyage a few weeks ago, and three more since, all successful!! Woot, woot!
“They test run each line three times before using both together. He has had three successful runs (not without a few hiccups, but he powered through as usual) on the arterial line. . . . After three successes we transition to both lines, and once we jump that hurdle and he’s using both lines successfully, we can talk about removing his chest catheter, leaving him line free for the first time in six years.”
What exactly does that mean? Well, for Zach, it’s a big, big deal.
As Jana explained: “He will be able to swim in lakes, etc., play basketball like he used to, just lots of bonuses to it. We are SO excited to get to that goal.”
In other words, he’ll be able to be a ‘normal’ teenager in a lot of ways. And I’ll tell you what . . . this courageous young man deserves nothing less.
“But,” his mother added, “for now, we push towards the fistula full time, and keep pushing for a donor.”
Jana knows that it’s all a matter of “the right set of eyes” seeing the photo that accompanies this post and things falling into place afterwards.
When that happens, it will allow the Tremblay to “get past this dialysis stuff and onto life.”
In closing, Jana wrote: “Please continue to share his story, register to be a donor and be kind to your own kidneys.”
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.
Time is everything. This is why we promise registering as an organ donor should only #TakeTwoMinutes. That’s faster than microwave popcorn! #Register2Give