Kidney — TransplantLyfe


Thank you to our healthcare heroes

Transplant Patient
September 16, 2022 in Kidney

Earlier this week I received a blood transfusion to help treat my severe anemia which has bothered me for the past few months. The anemia had not responded to epo, iron, or diet (it only got progressively worse) and the only resort at that point was to receive actual blood (from others) into my veins.

As I was lying at Columbia Hospital getting this life-saving transfusion, I was thinking about the many heroes we have in our healthcare system - heroes we do not celebrate enough. Of course, these individuals include the surgeons and other doctors who lead the teams in the hospital, the nurses who provide the care and often pick up on practical issues, and the nurse assistants who do much of the practical labor. 

But that day, I was thinking about the people who are healthy and yet decide to put themselves at risk and take the time to help others in a substantial way. 

The blood I received came from people who donated blood freely, without any compensation other than some crackers, cookies, and maybe apple juice. The kidney and pancreas in my body were donated by my father and a young woman whose family decided to save lives by donating her body parts after her death. 

All these individuals deserve many more accolades than we give them now. They do good and they do not expect anything in return.

It almost goes against our natural way of living, but then again maybe it is exactly what the human spirit really is about - helping others when you have reached a position of strength and allowing yourself to be unselfish and, in fact, generous. 

I don’t have the option of living freely, using only my own body’s means to live; I am dependent upon this generosity to survive. I hope that others observe and appreciate the value of this generosity that allows me to be here today. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of our heroes.

1 - 5 of 5 Replies

  • Howanitz39Transplant Patient

    Sorry to hear that you have to get a blood transfusion i was so anemic that my doctor did not know how I was standing up I had to get iron infusions because my body would not absorb the iron that I ate in food or iron pills. I to think about our health care heroes and my donor hero. 💚💝

    September 16, 2022
  • KarinExpert
    Transplant Patient

    Yes @Howanitz39 - that was the first step but the iron infusions did not help - needed blood! I feel much better now!

    September 17, 2022
  • JeanmarieTransplant Patient

    Absolutely Karin! I need frequent blood transfusions because of a virus I caught several years ago. And my bone marrow doesn't make blood. I always find it so amazing when I'm sitting there thinking about how someone donated all that blood from their own body. It's a miracle in a bag.

    I am always concerned when I get a blood transfusion because of the transplant. Nothing else can really be done for me. I've has 2 reactions to blood over the years. My hemoglobin is at 8 right now. I'm holding out as long as I can. My body gets so tired. I can tell by the pain in my thighs when it's time.

    I hope you won't need anymore.

    September 17, 2022
  • KarinExpert
    Transplant Patient

    @Jeanmarie i Toto ally know the feeling! I was down to 6 before my transfusion and I could not hold out for full days any longer - just needed sleep in afternoon and my body felt so cold and frail all the time. I am at 8 now and I truly hope it increases due to epo injections this time so I dont need more blood. I did not have a reaction but I worry about risk for antibodies…

    September 17, 2022
  • ShelbycreatesExpert
    Transplant Patient

    @Karin when I read this post in your email, it made me so teary-eyed. My husband regularly goes in to donate blood or platelets. They love calling him and they love his blood 🤣🤣 I always wish it could be me going into donate, but I’m so grateful for his small sacrifice that makes such a big difference in other people’s lives. I’m sorry you’re not responding to other anemia treatments. I hope that your numbers continue to improve. ❤️

    September 19, 2022
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