To mark Organ Donation Week, one of our colleagues at the Trust, Helen Rogerson, has kindly shared her story about the challenges she has faced in living with kidney disease.
Helen who is a clerical worker in Central Neighbourhood at Whitegate Drive Health Centre, has chronic kidney disease. She had managed this condition for many years until 2021 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The cancer treatment was successful but after taking time off from her role as an administrator, Helen’s hopes for returning to the job she loves were put on hold. The chemotherapy had led to her kidneys struggling and eventually failing, she suffered from severe fatigue and found she was short of breath. Changing to having overnight kidney dialysis made a huge difference but also took a lot of adjusting to as the dialysis processes made it difficult for Helen to sleep.
After six months of being too unwell to work, Helen has now returned to her role part-time and feels much better for being able to resume her other interests such as swimming and playing the organ at church.
Helen is now in need of a kidney transplant, however before that can happen, she needs to keep building up her strength so that she can go back on the waiting list for the surgery.
Helen knows that better investment and prevention strategies for treating kidney disease would make a huge difference to others in her situation, as there would be fewer people suffering with kidney failure as the outcome of their treatment.
She says “I’ve come through this journey, and that’s what has really made me want to pass this information on. We need to stop people having to go through such tough treatment so they can continue to work and live life to the full.
I’d like to thank all the medical teams who have been involved in my care, at Blackpool Victoria, Royal Preston and Chorley hospitals. It’s all been first class!”