I never had any problems growing up and was “normal” for all I knew. I was 21 years old and in my 2nd week of nursing school when I became short of breath for over 3 days. Finally, I went to the ER because of it.
That day, I went from being “normal” to finding out I was in heart failure (hence the shortness of breath) because I had 8% kidney function. That was a Wednesday, and I started dialysis on Friday.
I was lucky enough to have multiple people including my parents, aunt, and friends that got
tested immediately to see if they were a match for kidney donation. I struggled with central line infections and unstable blood pressures that came with dialysis while I worked 13-hour shifts as a nurse aid and continued going to school.
On December 11th, 2013, my friend, Steph, was finally able to give me a kidney after 7 months on dialysis. I call this the greatest Christmas present ever. I returned to nursing school 3 weeks after my kidney transplant. I graduated with my BSN on August 6th, 2016, where my nephrology nurse practitioner pinned me as a nurse.
I’m now just over 4 years post-transplant with (fingers crossed), with many more to go. Now as a nurse, I’ve literally taken care of people who I used to sit next to at dialysis.
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