ORONOGO, Mo - Dialysis is a process that can take four to five hours at a time. But one southwest Missouri family says a chance to do that at home is a life-saving option.
“He’s coughing, I'm having to suction him. It’s making the machine go off,” explained Lynita Leggett as she clears her son’s tracheotomy site. Jason Swann is on a ventilator and is prone to seizures. 20 years ago, a crash involving a drunk driver left him unable to use his arms and legs.
Lynita lamented, "I hate it for him. As a mom it’s not the life you want for your child. But, I love he's here."
He was on antibiotics that, Lynita says, basically killed his kidneys. So he's getting dialysis. But at home. "Basically it's just like a washing machine. It’s cleaning his blood just like you or I are able to go urinate to get rid of the toxins in our body. He can’t so this machine is doing it for him," Lynita said.
Jason’s been on at home dialysis for 4 years and because of his tracheotomy and other complications, going to a center would be difficult.
Lynita said, "We'd have to carry the suction machine, carry pillows it just it was like going on a vacation carrying all the things for him. So, he loves it."
Jason communicates with his eyes. Down is no, up is yes. Is he glad he doesn’t have to go out in the weather for dialysis? His eyes move upward.
Lynita said dialysis takes monitoring, "Every 30 minutes I have to make sure that he is not dropping his blood pressure or his heart rates going up or I’m drying him out meaning I’m pulling too much fluid off."
To say that Lynita is an amazing caregiver would be selling her short. But she says anyone can do dialysis at home. "You could hook yourself up go to bed and your alarm would let you know if there’s a blood leak or something. But you could then unhook, get up the next day and go to work."
As she folds laundry on a sofa in Jason’s room, she adds it’s convenient and time saving. Something better for her too, when it comes to housework. "Close to the kitchen, I can be cooking dinner."
And at home, there's more time for his niece and nephew who are welcome visitors during and after dialysis.
Fresenius kidney care nurses worked with Lynita for a month to train her in the at home care.
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- Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Copyright 2019 by KOAMNewsNow KOAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.