Tethered to the machine

A stress test had recently suggested that plaque had built up in his blood vessels, giving him coronary artery disease. It was common for patients with kidney failure. If his heart was weakening, he didn’t have much time to get a kidney, but it sometimes felt as if all he did was wait. Of the roughly half a million Americans who depend on dialysis, less than 14% have made it onto a waitlist for a transplant from a deceased donor. JaMarcus had not. He’d been kept off for an array of reasons: spotty insurance, referrals that never came, misdirection about losing weight and what he needed to do to qualify. The first time we spoke, he told me several times: “Dialysis is not for life.” He was convinced that, unless he got a kidney very soon, he was going to die… More here.

An amazing story.



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