Half of all adults between the ages of 30 and 64 are expected to develop chronic kidney disease in their lifetime. For many, the only option becomes transplant or dialysis.
For Sam Trevino, a home hemodialysis alternative made life easier.
Trevino and his wife Lacye enjoy taking in the simple comforts of their Fort Worth home. Together, the couple have weathered quite a storm.
“I was diagnosed at 13 years old,” said Sam.
At the time, doctors called it a children’s kidney disease. But, by college, Sam’s kidney’s failed.
“I was throwing up four or five times a day; I was very weak because of anemia; I was falling asleep everywhere,” Sam recalled. He was on dialysis for 17 years.
He would go to a dialysis center and sit for four hours while a machine cleaned his blood. In 2005, everything changed.
“Hurricane Rita slammed into the coast of Texas, and I was fortunate enough to have taken my machine home the day before the mandatory evacuation."
Insurance covered his costs for the FDA- approved portable hemodialysis machine.
“Instead of three times a week, they have to do it five or six times a week,” said Dr. Yan Yang, nephrologist with Texas Health Resources Fort Worth.
Dr. Yang said at home, a caretaker must be trained to help you with the hemodialysis process. The upside is running dialysis more frequently, for fewer hours, usually is more tolerated by the body.
“For home hemodialysis, you have some flexibility,” said Dr. Yang.
That freedom allowed Sam to take charge of his own treatment. He said he saved time and money by not having to drive to a dialysis center and he was able to cut back on medication.
He also regained his life. He and Lacye got to do more of what they love—traveling for live music concerts.
“My wife gave me a kidney six years ago,” said Sam, who is now free of dialysis.
The high school sweethearts are living out the best years of life while crediting a machine for acting as the bridge that got them here.