A lighted, gaily decorated Christmas tree stands near the front room door of Nancy Davison’s home that she shares with her husband, Ora.
This Christmas holds special joy for the Davisons, because Nancy received a special gift in June – a new kidney that has given her a new life.
Meet Nancy and Oran as they share what the gift of a kidney means to them.
Nancy actually had two kidney transplants in 2012, both at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.
“I had my first (kidney transplant) on Jan. 30, 2012, but it didn’t work enough to help, so I had to go right back on dialysis.
She was very familiar with dialysis.
“I was on dialysis for four years and I was on the list for a donor kidney, she said.
“I started out on dialysis in Centralia, but when Oran got sick, I transferred to the Davita Dialysis Center here in Vandalia.”
She is thankful for the Davita Clinic, because her husband’s physical condition does not allow him to drive now.
“The last one (second one) I had on Father’s Day this year. It is working,” she said.
The Diagnosis, the Dialysis, the List,
the Waiting, the Call…
“You have to be ready to go,” Nancy said.
“For the first one, they called me at 10 o’clock at night and wanted me to be there by midnight. We made it.
“The next one was a little better. I got the call at 3 p.m. and they wanted me there by 5 o’clock.
Nancy said that she has had diabetes for many years, and believes that caused the kidney problems.
She said that she has to take a lot of medication, including three anti-rejection meds: a generic form of Prograf, Prednisone and a generic Imuran, plus several other meds for other various causes. However, she doesn’t mind taking the medications, as she is enjoying a better quality of life.
She was undergoing blood tests weekly at Fayette County Hospital, but now takes them every other week.
And the Results
“I feel great now. I just had my checkup at Barnes,” Nancy said.
“Every few months, I have to go back and have a new stent put in. I go back January 11 to have this one taken out and another stent put in,” she said.
“I did pretty good (with the surgeries). I really (recovered) better with this one than I did with the first one. In June, I was only in the hospital a week and didn’t have to use a walker.”
She was hospitalized fromJan. 1-Feb. 14 with the first surgery transplant and had to use a walker.
While she didn’t really enjoy dialysis treatment itself, she appreciates the help it gave in keeping her going until the transplant.
She speaks highly of the Davita staff, their friendliness and their efficiency, and the opportunity of meeting and getting to know the other patients during her four years with them.
“You really think of the staff and the other patients as part of your family,” she said.
And This Christmas, Due to the Wonderful Gift …
… a more enjoyable Christmastime than in some years past – no dialysis and less uncertainty, healthwise.
She no longer has elevated blood pressure, thanks to the new kidney. She is 64 years old and feels “great.”
The Davisons have a daughter (who also transports Nancy to the necessary appointments and errands), a granddaughter “and one on the way.”
She will enjoy Christmas more this year, but said that while she can eat more foods now, due to the transplant, she will still be careful of her diet, because of diabetes.
She wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and … she recommends that anyone in need of a transplant should consider it . “It works!”