Kidney transplant recipient and donor to run Klondike Road Relay
Submitted by St. Paul's Foundation
Combined, your kidneys weigh around ten ounces; when Trudy Burdess had her kidneys removed, they weighed ten pounds, the result of polycystic kidney disease.
When kidney disease patients speak of the pain they experience, this is often a cause: enlarged kidneys pushing against other organs and other parts of your body’s internal structure.
“Some days I would feel pressure on my lungs and it would be hard to breathe,” says Trudy. “Back pain was a constant.”
Fortunately, Trudy had a successful kidney transplant at St. Paul’s in 2015. Doubly fortunate, Trudy had a living kidney donor in her cousin, Carolyn Bartsch.
“We’re more like sisters.” says Carolyn, of her relationship with Trudy. “The day Trudy said, ‘Well, I’m on the list,’ meaning the waiting list to receive a kidney, which we knew could take years, I made my decision. I wanted to donate a kidney to Trudy. I know she would do the same for me.”
Without Carolyn’s noble act, Trudy’s options would have been limited. To receive a kidney from a deceased donor could take as long as eight years. Trudy’s kidneys would not last that long, not even close: at the time of her transplant, her kidney function was already less than 15% and only getting worse. Once her kidneys failed, dialysis would be Trudy’s only option.
Trudy, who lives in Whitehorse, consulted with her GP about how to best proceed with her transplant. Trudy’s GP suggested St. Paul’s and offered to make Trudy an appointment with St. Paul’s nephrologist Dr. Paul Taylor. Trudy agreed with her GP and an appointment was made.
When Trudy met with Dr. Taylor, it was a moment of transformative change.
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