Transplant gives student new life

first_imgWalsh was starting her freshman year at Highland High School in 1995 when a physical shed light on why she had been feeling exhausted and going to the nurse’s office, complaining of weakness. Tests showed she was in the beginning stages of kidney failure. She was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, a chronic kidney disease that usually first appears during adolescence and young adulthood and often progresses to kidney failure. About a year later, Walsh began dialysis three times a week, with each session lasting three to five hours. “It was very tiring,” Walsh recalled. “It puts a major cramp in your schedule. Any general activities need to be scheduled around dialysis. It really slowed me down going to school.” Unable to go continue with classes, she tried independent study but couldn’t keep up with the work and failed to graduate. When offered a chance to be put on a list to have a kidney transplant, Walsh demurred, uncomfortable with the concept. “I was just weirded out by the whole thing, having someone else’s kidney in me. I was 15, and you think, `Gross!”‘ Walsh said. But she eventually changed her mind as time passed and her condition failed to improve. Since the transplant, Walsh said the most profound change has been her diet. What was bad for her before, she can now consume without fear. “Now everything is flipped,” she said. “I had to watch how much I drank before. I was only allowed four cups of fluid per day. Now I’m told to drink two liters a day.” Before, she had to avoid foods high in phosphorus – dairy products, beans and, a favorite, colas – and potassium – bananas, tomatoes and potatoes. In kidney failure, excess potassium can cause sudden death and too much phosphorus can cause calcification of blood vessels. “Oh, my God, I can handle all that stuff now. I can drink all the cola I want now,” Walsh said. Walsh has more energy and is adjusting to life without dialysis. “I feel much better,” she said. “When my sister lets me, I can do more things around the house, even just basic cleaning. I don’t like to clean, but I like fact that I can.” She no longer has to rise at 4:30 a.m. to go to dialysis. “Now I have all this time on my hands. I’m trying to figure out ways to fill it,” Walsh said. She is thinking of volunteering at Kaiser in Lancaster. She can now be a full-time student and plans on entering the medical field, a career choice inspired by her experience. “I was always in a hospital environment. I picked up on medical terminology and procedures. It really piqued my interest,” Walsh said. Walsh said she plans to write a thank-you letter to her kidney donor’s family. “I’m still trying to work on how I will write the letter,” Walsh said. “It’s kind of awkward: `I’m sorry your daughter had to die. At least her kidney didn’t go to waste.’ I do plan on doing as much with this kidney as long as I have it.” (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesWalsh underwent the three-hour transplant surgery July 27 at University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center. The procedure would not have been possible without financial help from a nonprofit agency founded by Walsh’s doctor and Kaiser Permanente. The Foundation to Improve Renal Nutrition was started in 2004 by Philip Tuso, a nephrologist at Kaiser’s Lancaster medical offices, to increase public awareness of kidney disease and raise money to supply costly nutritional supplements to protein-malnourished patients with kidney failure. FIRN enabled Walsh to receive post-transplant care by providing funding for temporary housing near UCLA, and Kaiser provided transportation from Walsh’s home to UCLA’s Westwood campus. Before the formation of FIRN, Tuso and other members of the medical team at Walsh’s dialysis clinic pooled funds to help buy expensive medication that she could not afford due to her limited income but was vital to keep her alive. Tuso is physician director of Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis Unit in Lancaster. “She was one of many in the unit that was requiring assistance,” Tuso said. “Valerie wasn’t working. A lot of others had to stop work. They were unable to work, and for the first time in their life experienced financial strain.” LANCASTER – For the first time in nearly a decade, 25-year-old Valerie Walsh is not tethered to a dialysis machine that kept her alive. The part-time Antelope Valley College student underwent a kidney transplant in late July that freed her from a previous life of constant exhaustion, time-consuming dialysis sessions and uncertainty. Walsh, who initially was turned off by the idea of having someone else’s kidney inside her, knows little about her kidney donor, except that she was a 27-year-old woman. “I treat it like my baby. You can feel the kidney; it’s a little bump right here,” Walsh said, pointing to her side. “I’m careful not to bump up against anything. I will try to be cautious of what I do to make sure I keep it as long as I can.” last_img

Watch: See the highlights as St Naul’s win Intermediate final

first_imgST NAUL’S claimed the 2019 Donegal Intermediate Championship title after overcoming Cloughaneely in Sunday’s final.Daniel Brennan’s goal was the difference in a 1-10 to 0-10 win for the Mountcharles side.Stephen Griffin’s super late free was the icing on the cake for the Barry Meehan-managed St Naul’s who made up for some near misses in the Championship of late. Here are some highlights of the game, via Brendan O’Donnell of Jacksons Media TV …Watch: See the highlights as St Naul’s win Intermediate final was last modified: October 15th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2019 Donegal IFCCloughaneelyDaniel BrennanSt.NaulsStephen Griffinlast_img read more