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Duc's Story

Duc knows what it’s like to wait.

For three years, he’s been waiting for a kidney transplant – his second.

“When my first kidney failed, I was devastated,” Duc Pflegervu says of the transplant he received from a deceased donor. “My transplant lasted six years, and I’ve now been back on dialysis for another three years.”

Although advances are extending the life of transplanted organs, transplant failures remain. Failures are a significant hurdle for people like Duc, who must go back on the wait list and dialysis when their transplant fails.

“Waiting for a kidney is horrible, because I don’t know how long I’m going to have to wait for the call,” Duc says. “The first time, I waited eight years for a kidney.”

While Duc waits, he goes to a clinic for dialysis four days a week. Dialysis is a medical procedure that eliminates waste and unwanted water from the blood. Normally, this cleansing of toxins from the body is performed by the kidneys.

Dialysis itself takes four hours, but Duc says it eats up about six hours of his day, from start to finish.

“Being on dialysis isn’t easy,” Duc says. “It takes a lot of time and commitment. I have to schedule my life around it. My immune system is weak, and I always worry about how I’m going to feel afterwards. There are days, even weeks, when everything is more challenging.”

Not knowing when or for how long he will be sick makes it difficult for Duc to work full time.

“It helps that we have our own business,” Duc says of his wife and their photography studio. “My wife is the photographer and I take care of the business end. It keeps me busy. If it weren’t for the studio, I’d go crazy waiting for the phone to ring.”

Duc and his wife love to travel but dialysis makes this difficult. They also want to start a family but say planning for the future is hard because they don’t know when, or even if, Duc is going to get another transplant.

Duc’s wife and some of his relatives have been tested to determine if they are eligible to donate a kidney to him, but unfortunately, no one is a match.

“It would be a blessing to get another transplant and a second chance at life,” Duc says. Until then, he and his wife are determined to keep focused and continue living the best life they can.

Learn more about kidney transplants.

Last Modified: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 |
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