Kathryn spent the summer of 2018 feeling off. She chalked it up to the warm weather and stress at work, but when she began experiencing migraines and carsickness during a road trip to Canada, she knew something was wrong. Upon returning home, she saw the doctor, who ran some tests and discovered that she was in kidney failure.
Kathryn was rushed to the hospital, where she immediately began dialysis. “I had nine blood transfusions and six plasmaphereses. Ten days into my 28-day hospital stay, they figured out that I had undiagnosed lupus, which caused the kidney failure,” she says. Four days later, Kathryn went into respiratory failure from a second autoimmune disease that affects the blood vessels in her lungs.
After six months of chemotherapy and dialysis, Kathryn was put on the organ transplant waiting list and received a kidney in May 2020. Today, she is feeling well and is grateful for the blood donors who helped keep her strong throughout her health journey.
“I am very grateful for blood donors and blood transfusions,” she says. “I could have died from the kidney failure. I could have died from the respiratory failure. But between the dialysis and transfusions, by the time my 28 days in the hospital were over, I felt better. I know I came out of that because of the blood transfusions and the plasma.”
Now, Kathryn encourages other people to donate blood products and help patients like her. “Donating blood can save someone’s life,” she says. “What’s a little needle prick compared to that?”
People need people, make a difference in someone’s life by donating blood.
We must rely on each other for the gift of blood, and patients in your community rely on the generosity of Versiti’s blood donors to help. Please consider scheduling an appointment to donate. If this is your first time, donating blood is quick, easy and relatively painless. And, it is a great way to give back and help patients in your community.