Kidney Transplant May 19th, 2017
I went in for surgery at 1:47AM and I was out by 4:01AM. I had my surgery at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia performed by Dr. Campos (best surgeon ever!) My donor was a deceased donor and he was young. My reason to keep going.
I was diagnosed at 15 (a couple weeks away from my 16th birthday) in April 2008. The official name of my disease is Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephristis which is when the immune system functions abnormally and attacks the healthy cells in the kidney causing them to fail over time.
It affected my life in so many ways. I was able to have my kidney failure under control up until I was 20 with medications and treatments. On November 2011, I had my fistula graft put in, in my left forearm and in February 2012, and started dialysis. During that time, I was going to college for education at night while in the day, I worked full time as an assistant director at a daycare. Having to stop working and stop school hurt more than anything. I was scared and confused to start dialysis, but I always took it day by day. Dialysis was the hardest thing to get used to. I was left exhausted after every treatment, so I missed many friends' and family functions. I also did not travel since I was scared to get treatment in other states.
I was 15, so I was super young. I did not seek any support because I was unaware that there was help. I also did not speak about it to friends since most did not understand. I kind of just had my family and the secretary at my doctor's kidney office to talk to. It was not until I came on social media, especially Instagram, where I found many people with kidney failure that I could relate to. Also starting my blog has become an outlet for me to express myself and my journey.
My kidney transplant has changed my life in so many ways. Oh my god! I have so much energy now. I barely nap (if ever) during the day. I'm looking to go back to school to finish my bachelors. I found my purpose. Before dialysis, I was in school for education, now I want to somehow be involved in the transplant field. I was just told to go to an interview for a really awesome job next week. Life is looking up and every day I thank my family, transplant team and my donor. I'm in the process of writing his family. I'm just looking for the right words.
There are definitely things I would like people to understand about transplant. Kidney transplants are a blessing. To the recipients and future recipients, we are the main person that we have to depend on during our healing process. Push yourself to where you feel comfortable. Everyone is different but let's motivate ourselves. Deceased or living donor, let's make them proud. Take the moment in and enjoy life! Also, if it's in you, share your journey! It will inspire and help some.
To family, friends and interested bystanders...please consider being a donor! Have it on your ID but also, if you're even a little curious, look up information on being a living donor. I always try to help explain to people you can go back to your regular life after donating a kidney to someone. Go to your local transplant office and ask a million questions. If I could, I would.
Beverly is currently writing a blog about her life and journey. Be sure to check it out.
Follow her journey on social media
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania