Before Kidney Transplant, Home Dialysis Preserved New York Father’s Freedom to Work, Travel

Before Kidney Transplant, Home Dialysis Preserved New York Father’s Freedom to Work, Travel

Bruce, a husband and father of three who lives in Buffalo, New York, knew the day would come when his kidney function dropped below the acceptable limit and would require that he begin dialysis. Bruce has diabetes—a risk factor for kidney disease—and he and his nephrologist had been monitoring the health of his kidneys for several years.

However, Bruce wasn’t ready to give up his lifestyle—which includes regular travel for work, vacations and visits with his grown children. Fortunately for Bruce, he was able to choose a therapy that preserved his lifestyle – peritoneal dialysis (PD), a type of dialysis that a patient self-administers at home.

As a pharmacist who works at Baxter, Bruce was familiar with PD, which works by cleaning the blood of toxins and removing extra fluid through the body’s peritoneal cavity. Most U.S. patients perform therapy using a machine called a cycler—such as Baxter’s AMIA with SHARESOURCE or HOMECHOICE PRO automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) systems—that infuse and drain solution automatically, often while a patient sleeps. The ability to choose when and where they dialyze means patients can work during normal business hours and bring equipment with them to dialyze when away from home for extended periods.

“I’m a pretty active guy. I’m not one to sit at home, so I educated myself about my options,” said Bruce. “I really like my job at Baxter, and wanted to keep working and live according to my schedule while I waited for a kidney transplant.”

With his nephrologist’s approval, Bruce worked with Baxter’s travel program—which provides travel advice and coordinates delivery of PD therapy products—to travel for both work and leisure, including a trip to Puerto Rico and to Denver to visit one of his adult sons.

Renal patients should realize that performing PD therapy away from home is less challenging than you might think. I traveled three out of four weeks every month for work in addition to going on vacations, and my PD cycler and fluids went wherever I was.

Bruce, peritoneal dialysis patient and pharmacist at Baxter

In April 2016, after being on PD for about one year, Bruce received a phone call he had been waiting for – a kidney was available, all the way from California. Within 24 hours, Bruce underwent a successful kidney transplant.

“I feel lucky in many ways,” said Bruce. “While on PD, I was able to live my life and remain healthy enough to receive a kidney. And, ultimately, someone made the decision to donate their organs so I could have a second chance.”