Kidney patient seeks help from a local foundation

Updated: Feb. 10, 2017 at 10:59 PM EST
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DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Susan Wilson, 52, was rushed to the hospital 14 years ago after experiencing heart attack symptoms. Shortly thereafter she was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease.

The grandmother says her tests showed she had high blood pressure.

"I love life, so I keep fighting this. I've been through some things with this illness," said Wilson.

She used up all of her savings to pay for her care and turned to the Kidney Foundation of Ohio for help, learning about their medication, transportation and emergency gr ant programs. The Cleveland woman did what doctors told her, followed a special diet, and stayed on top of her blood pressure, but six years later she had to go on dialysis.

She did dialysis treatments at home for several years, but recently suffered a serious infection that landed her in the hospital for a month. She says she nearly died.

"I could have no visitors and the doctors had to be down from head-to-toe because they could not bring in any bacteria than what I already had, because it would have caused even more problems," said Wilson.

Her social worker Tim Stipek is her support system.

"A lot of education goes in the beginning because they're so overwhelmed and sometimes they don't even have a sense of what to feel because it's so devastating. It's a life change," said Stipek.

Susan's now recovering from that infection and goes to a center for her dialysis several days a week. The kidney survivor has a message for others.

"Get your yearly physical. If your doctor tells you to have high blood pressure, bring your pressure down, take your meds, exercise," she said.

Soon she will attend the Kidney Foundation of Ohio's event downtown. It brings awareness and helps raise money for patients.

Susan has been on the waiting list for a kidney for eight years.

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