Written By: Sylvia Amador
It all started when Vanessa Evans was 14 years old. She was getting a regular check up and her doctors found that she was very anemic. They decided to conduct several exams and discovered that she had Chronic Kidney Disease.
“I didn’t realize the impact that it was going to have in my life or how things would change” she says. Just as she graduated High School, Vanessa received a transplant from her mother, Maya Evans. The transplant only lasted 6 years, so she began dialysis.
Vanessa spent 10 years doing dialysis at a clinic. She would be hooked up to a machine that cleaned her body of toxic fluids, filtering salts, and wastes, 3 days a week for 4 hours. Today, Vanessa is 41, and is one of the 5,500 that do home Hemodialysis. “I wanted to be at home with the baby” Vanessa describes when asked why she decided to try at home dialysis. “I didn’t want to go to a clinic 3 days a week for so many hours”
Currently, three Hemodialysis machines are used for home hemodialysis in the United States. Vanessa uses one of them: NxStage machine. She does short daily treatments, 5 to 6 days a week for two and a half hours. She was trained, along with her husband, Paul, to use the machine. The training lasted about a month and they mention that it wasn’t very complicated. Vanessa no longer needs to take pills to regulate her blood pressure and says that her health has improved!
For Vanessa, home dialysis has given her time to be a mom, a wife, and a friend. Her husband, Paul mentions that at home dialysis has given Vanessa the chance to have a normal life and to grow with her family. As a final note, Vanessa happily adds “Home dialysis is such a great option. A lot of people don’t know about it, so it’s important to spread the word!”