Patricia is 35 years old, mother of three beautiful children and a former Grady Outpatient Dialysis Clinic patient. Like many of the Grady Dialysis patients, Patricia was terrified when she received notice that Grady was closing its only Outpatient Dialysis Clinic. Patricia lived in Atlanta for more than 15 years and was Grady’s patient for over two (2) years. Patricia was one of our first patients of Advocates for Responsible Care (ARxC) fighting in Atlanta for the vital Dialysis treatment she needs to stay alive. After several months of uniting with us in this fight, she joined the rollercoaster of uncertainty; being told she had no treatment, and then being told she would have some treatment for three more months. She fought, as all 38 patients did, but was without permanent success to ensure she would continue her life- sustaining Dialysis treatment.
Patricia was approached by Grady Hospital to return to Mexico under the promise of receiving Dialysis treatments and Medical Insurance in Mexico. Some of the Grady Hospital Dialysis patients accepted a verbal agreement from Grady. Only three (3) months of Dialysis treatment was provided without any Medical Insurance coverage. ARxC now knows that Mexico does not provide Medical Insurance for Dialysis patients.
Patricia faced the unbearable dilemma of staying in Atlanta to continue to fight with ARxC or to return to Mexico under the Grady offer. Patricia had the burden of caring for her children, ensuring her treatments and managing her Systemic Lupus. After her youngest daughter, Fatima, was born, Patricia became seriously ill and was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus; a devastating auto-immune disease that destroyed her kidneys leading to permanent renal failure. After much anguish, Patricia decided to accept the Grady Hospital offer to return to Mexico, with great hopes of receiving continuous Dialysis treatment and even the possibility of a renal transplant.
Patricia returned to Mexico in December 2009 with her eight (8) year old daughter and 14 year old son. Soon her dreams of living turned to despair. Her husband returned to Mexico in September 2010 after Patricia’s chance of long term Dialysis was shattered and as he faced difficulties maintaining his job in Atlanta in the construction field. Patricia’s oldest son (18 years old) lives in Atlanta with friends, to continue his schooling. He suffers the pain of being separated from his parents and siblings and not knowing his mother’s fate.
Once Patricia made the decision of returning to Mexico, she was eligible to receive temporary financial support from the State of Guanajuato, in Mexico. After 30 hemodialysis sessions, paid by Grady Hospital, Patricia could not find further aid or insurance to afford her treatments. Her husband was forced to pay for private Dialysis treatments for three (3) months. After some time passed, Patricia once again received a limited amount of money from the State of Guanajuato to sustain her dialysis treatment. Now the financial help has ended.
Early this year her nephrologist in Mexico stated Patricia is a good candidate for a renal transplant. Her husband paid for all the compatibility studies needed to allow her to enter the transplant program. Patricia is now on a renal transplant waiting list. Patricia fights daily to keep her Lupus under control so she will remain a good transplant candidate. She is a strong proactive patient. Unfortunately, because of the high demand of organs, Patricia may need to wait until summer 2011 or longer, to get a compatible kidney. Until then she must have Dialysis treatment or she will surely die.
On her doctor’s advice and because of lack of financial help, Patricia has been stretching out her treatments. She is receiving only one (1) hemodialysis treatment a week. This will jeopardize her health. She only has money to pay for four (4) more dialysis sessions (through the middle of November).
ARxC continues the struggle for 33 former Grady Dialysis patients who have treatment that ends August, 2011. There are many more patients like Patricia, who believed the promises by Grady Hospital and returned to their homes of origin. Some have died and others face an uncertain future without adequate Dialysis treatments to keep them alive. Even fewer have a chance of ever receiving a kidney transplant.
Patricia needs our financial support to pay for her vital treatments. If she does not receive her Dialysis treatments she will die in two (2) to three (3) weeks. Please help us to keep Patricia alive and to renew our faith in the care of each other.