Many Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis Treatments are terrified when they search for “Survival Rates Of Dialysis Patients.” The low average causes patients to become depressed, worried, demoralized, and very concerned about their longevity (lifespan). However, KidneyBuzz.com always encourages patients to ignore the averages since each patient is different and many patients lead long lives on Dialysis. Just take a look at the longest living Dialysis patient in the world. Being on Dialysis for the majority of his life in Peterborough, Canada, his story offers inspiration and insights for all Dialysis patients who hope for a long life on Dialysis.
Kenneth Sharp has been on Dialysis for more than 42 years. As a young man, Mr. Sharp experienced a Streptococcal Infection (can range from a mild skin infection or a sore throat to severe, life-threatening conditions) and had to begin Dialysis. The most senior of Dialysis Patients, Ken Sharp, exclusively told KidneyBuzz.com that he has chosen against a Kidney Transplant due to his concerns about “the side effects and anti-rejection drugs and how long it will last before it fails.”
Recommended Reading: Gratitude May Boost CKD And Dialysis Patients' Health And Longevity
Mr. Sharp is an avid Steel Guitar player and when asked how he feels about being the longest living Dialysis patient, he noted, "I feel mixed emotions. Pretty thankful to be alive but yet I would like to have the Artificial Implantable Kidney.” Yes, Ken has been pushing to bring an Artificial Implantable Kidney to market for decades and is very excited about the prospect of an implantable device finally beginning Human Trials early 2018 at the University of California San Francisco (click here to learn more).
He is well aware that patients on Dialysis often get discouraged, depressed and negative because the "process is time-consuming and can cause painful cramps." What is his secret? Here are a few insights that he generously shared with the KidneyBuzz.com Team:
1.) Follow The Doctor’s Orders: Ken said that he follows his doctor’s advice and recommendations very closely. He always builds a quality relationship with his Healthcare Team and discusses his issues and concerns. However, once they have determined on a best approach he will stick closely to the the directions given by his Nephrologist.
2.) Taking A Lead Role: Ken expressed multiple times that, “I know my body,” and that “I take the lead role in my care.” While he works closely with his Healthcare Team, he ensures that they are aware of his needs, concerns, and necessary changes. Ken exercises during Dialysis Treatments via a stationary bike peddler. What's more, as a regular KidneyBuzz.com viewer he is always up-to-date about the latest breakthroughs and best practices which he draws to the attention of his Healthcare Team.
3.) Have A Good Support Group: Ken’s family has since passed on, but at 62-years-old he has a great group of friends who are always there for him. He strives to do his best and they understand his limits and try to help where possible. If you do not have a support group around you, then start with KidneyBuzz.com - we are here for you!
4.) Show Gratitude: Even as a Dialysis patient, Ken finds time to volunteer and help others. Helping other people is a fundamental principle by which Mr. Sharp has lived his life. Gratitude and feeling grateful has been proven to directly improve a patient's health outcomes. It would seem like Mr. Sharp got the memo and continues to show his love and gratitude of being alive by helping other people in every way that he can such as allowing this article to be written about his journey to help inspire other patients to not give up.
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