Kidney Patients Support Group Video 2.30 minutes
Gives first hand experience about the value of kidney support groups and how they help patients and supporters. The video can be used to promote any support group.
WGEM TV News - Quincy, IL
Local woman with kidney failure uses experience to train nursing students to learn dialysis
Posted: Mar 03, 2014 7:23 PM CST
By Nick Adams, Multimedia Journalist
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people have to go on dialysis because of failing kidneys. For many, it's the only thing keeping them alive until they can get a transplant.
Lana Schmidt has been on dialysis for 12 years now, when her kidneys failed from an auto-immune disease. Now, not only is she taking control, she's using her experience to teach aspiring nurses.
"It just kind of happened all by itself. There was no big master plan. I needed help and I called a friend of mine whose daughter I knew as a nursing student. I called her and asked if she would be interested," Schmidt said.
Ever since, Schmidt has allowed nursing students to come in and help her get ready for dialysis. It's a routine Schmidt has to do for two hours everyday, peeling off scabs and inserting a needle into her arm, but she says without this machine, she wouldn't be here today. "It has saved my life because in-center stopped working for me and so did peritoneal dialysis," Schmidt said.
After doing some research, Schmidt came across this Home-Hemo Dialysis, which she's used for the last four years but not everyone with kidney failure knows this is an option.
"Most of the time, kidney patients are put on in center dialysis first rather than talking with them and giving them all of their treatment options," Schmidt said.
For the next two hours, this device is Schmidt's kidney, taking the toxins out of her bloodstream. Autumn Jackson is one of the students who comes in regularly to help assist Schmidt and said coming here has made a difference.
"This job has helped me become a leader. It put me more into that leader role and I can instead of being the person behind, I can take initiative and be that person to actually step up," Jackson said. While Jackson is primarily focusing on kidneys and the machine, she says the training has opened her eyes to other areas. "When you understand the kidneys you're able to apply that to different parts of the body like that and understand how they work and how they collaborate and perform together to keep you alive," she said.
Schmidt said teaching students is also a big help for her. "Having them here takes a huge emotional burden off of me to do everything," she said.
Roughly 100,000 others are looking for a kidney in the United States. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the average wait time for a kidney transplant is between three to five years, however like in Schmidt's case, you can wait much longer.
American Kidney Fund Advocacy Video on Capitol Hill
The American Kidney Fund gave me a great opportunity to advocate for policies to improve the health of millions of Americans and their families who are living with, or are at risk of developing, kidney disease. I was able to make my voice be heard on Capitol Hill spreading awareness of kidney disease and it's affects on people's lives. My part starts at 1.56 minutes into video.