Compared to normal kidneys, polycystic kidneys have fluid-filled cysts. If they grow too large or too many, the condition may eventually lead to kidney failure. ( Bruce Blaus | Wikimedia Commons )
A Washington man donated his kidney to his wife just a few months before they celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. What is polycystic kidney disease or PKD?
Husband Donates Kidney To Wife
In October, Steve and Lesley Kennedy will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Before reaching that milestone, however, the couple endured the complications of Lesley’s PKD.
For a long time, Lesley had been suffering from the disease that causes fluid-filled cysts to grow in her kidneys. Eventually, her condition grew severe enough for her to require dialysis and doctors informed her that she already needed a kidney transplant.
Although a co-worker and her sister offered to donate a kidney to her, neither of them was a match. Fortunately, when Steve decided to donate his kidney to his wife of nearly three decades, tests proved that they were indeed a match.
On July 19, the couple underwent the successful kidney transplant, and both are doing well so far thanks to the care of doctors, nurses, their son, and Lesley’s sister.
“My donated kidney appears to be doing pretty well in its new home inside Lesley,” Steve shared in a Facebook post where he also promoted organ donation.
”Also consider organ donation. It is truly an amazing gift to be able to donate. Especially to your spouse.”
What Is Polycystic Kidney Disease?
As mentioned, polycystic kidney disease is a condition in which numerous fluid-filled cysts to grow in the kidneys. If the cysts get too large or if too many cysts grow, the cysts can eventually replace much of the kidney and eventually lead to damage, reduced kidney function, and even kidney failure. When this happens, the patient may require a kidney transplant.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, PKD is a genetic condition that can be passed from parents to children. In the United States, about 600,000 people have PKD, and occurs in all races and equally in men and women.
Some of the signs that an individual may have PKD are blood in the urine, increased abdomen size, high blood pressure, fluttering or pounding chest, frequent bladder or kidney infections, and back or side pain. It is often diagnosed using an ultrasound, but in some cases, an MRI and CT scan may be helpful in detecting smaller cysts.
So far, PKD has no known cure, but recent research suggests that drinking plain water and avoiding caffeinated beverages may slow the growth of cysts. Other means to slow the growth of cysts are blood pressure control, prompt treatment of kidney and bladder infections, and living a healthy lifestyle, which includes weight control and reduction of salt intake.
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