This is the story of a brother and sister whose return to health would once have seemed like a miracle… two miracles to be precise. Thanks to the treatment they’ve received here at Charlies, they will be able to celebrate Christmas together with their family.
At the age of 14, Brieanna, suddenly feeling unwell, went to her GP who thought she might have glandular fever. Later that night, she was so sick that she was rushed in an ambulance to hospital, where she was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. She was literally on death’s door.
Brieanna was immediately thrust into a world of doctors and daily dialysis and a kidney disease diagnosis. And as far as anyone knew there was no family history. As she recalls, “It came as a great shock to my family and friends, as I had been a fit and healthy girl all my life.”
In 2012 she received a kidney transplant which she describes as,
The ultimate life-saving gift… I have been given a new lease of life and I cherish every day.
“To this day I am nothing but impressed with the care I receive. I feel safe in the capable hands of my specialist, doctors and nurses at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, who continue to support my life journey. They are inspirational people.”
I’m sure you can imagine the enormous worry Brieanna’s parents went through while nursing their precious daughter through her difficult disease and harrowing surgery. But imagine their shock when 12 months after her diagnosis with chronic kidney disease, her brother Braedon also became very ill following almost the same pattern ultimately also receiving a kidney transplant earlier this year.
Naturally, like Brieanna, Braedon is very grateful for the gift of life he has been able to receive.
“With the continued support and encouragement from my renal specialist and the renal team, I am enjoying life to the max, with the buzz of energy I now have. I am looking forward to commencing an apprenticeship in carpentry and enjoying life” he says.
Fifty years ago this wonderful outcome could never have happened. But thanks to the kind of research your donations support, Brieanna and Braedon have survived. Brieanna is now looking forward to completing her Bachelor of Science degree next year and fulfilling her ambition to become a nurse, no doubt inspired by those she’s met along her journey.
But the big question remains,
Why did these apparently healthy young people suddenly lose their kidney function and become so very ill?
It’s the question that their specialist wants to investigate further. There has been no clear cause found for either Brieanna or Braedon’s kidney disease.
The doctor and his colleagues suspect the cause may be genetic, but they need our help to provide the funds to enable genetic screening here at Charlies and for the rest of WA.
By making a donation today, you can help Charlies find the answers to why apparently healthy young people are suddenly struck with kidney disease. And you can help us prevent future suffering for others.
Brieanna and Braedon are alive today thanks to the modern miracles of dialysis and all the amazing research that has gone into making kidney transplantation possible. These young people will be celebrating Christmas with their family this year, and for years to come, thanks to those miracles.