Charlottetown woman details her life as a dialysis patient

Jim Day
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Yvette Reid, 51, of Charlottetown is eager to get a kidney transplant so she can return to the far more active, productive life she had been leading before diagnosed with end stage kidney disease two years ago.

Yvette Reid has found her busy life as a single mother of three adult children has ground to a halt

The public can hear Yvette Reid share her story of life as a dialysis patient when she speaks Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown as part of Kidney Health Month.

Yvette Reid had long been accustomed to going full tilt.

For years, she chased her three children around the rinks and soccer fields while also volunteering her time to hockey and soccer.

She worked at the Summerside Tax Centre for 10 years before moving on to do accounting for a private company. In her words, Reid was on the go 24/7.

Sadly, end stage kidney disease has brought her previously fast-paced life to a near halt. She has not worked since the diagnosis was made in July 2012.

Three mornings each week are spent on dialysis at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Each dialysis session runs four hours.

“It’s a part-time job, really,’’ she says. “Oh, it drives me bananas.’’

Life in general is far from what it used to be for the 51-year-old single Charlottetown mom who has her three adult children living with her as they pursue their college education.

“It’s a big lifestyle change,’’ she says. “Boring with a capital B.’’

Still, she tries to remain positive. She hopes to one day return to a much busier life.

The key, she hopes, is to get a new kidney to replace one of her own, both of which are functioning at less than 10 per cent.

Reid has been on the kidney transplant list for just a few weeks now. She knows the wait can be very long, but she is eager to get back to a more fulfilling life.

“If I could go to work now, I would,’’ she says. “I want to be a productive member of society. I’m not ready to retire.’’

One of her two sons was willing to donate one of his kidneys but it wasn’t a match. Reid was actually somewhat relieved because she didn’t want to put her son through that.

Also, none of her four siblings are an option due to their own health.

So Reid is banking on a stranger to become her pass to a previously active past.

“It’s the gift of life,’’ she says.

“I can’t even imagine what I would feel like if a match was found. I try not to think about it.’’

Reid is one of 14 Prince Edward Island residents currently on the kidney transplant list.

Tracy Durkee-Jones, executive director for Atlantic Canada, says residents in this region face on average a wait of 2.5 years, which is half the national average waiting time.

The transplants all take place in Halifax for residents of Atlantic Canada.

Durkee-Jones urges people to consider designating their intent to be an organ donor on their health card or driver’s licence and then discuss that decision with their families “because at the end of the day it is family that gives consent.’’

 

jday@theguardian.pe.ca

Organizations: Summerside Tax Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Canada Halifax

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  • Riki
    March 24, 2014 - 12:55

    I certainly hope that the 14 people from PEI on the transplant list is a typo.. There can be anywhere from 10 to 16 patients getting treatment per shift per day in Charlottetown alone.. As a dialysis patient in Charlottetown, I can think of 5 on the transplant list, including myself, on my shift alone.