Meet Louise Laviolette. Louise received a transplant following polycystic kidney disease.
When she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, Louise Laviolette wasn’t surprised. Just a few years earlier, her father had received the same diagnosis. “So I was pretty well informed about my disease, especially about the importance of prevention,” she explains.
She immediately began a renal function monitoring program, which helped keep her kidneys healthy for more than two decades before the first signs of end-stage renal disease (also known as chronic kidney failure) appeared. “I then had to resign myself to home automated peritoneal dialysis. Since this was done at night, I was still able to lead an active life, keep my job and feel good in the morning. I didn’t want this disease to take over my life.”
Still, three and a half years later, Louise was exhausted. “My body was worn out, the dialysis wasn’t enough, I was losing a lot of weight and I had no appetite. I was in survival mode,” says Louise.
That’s when the long-awaited news finally arrived: a kidney was available for her. Although ecstatic, she couldn’t help but feel for the family that was about to save her life.
Louise learned that the kidney was not harvested from a donor after brain death but from a non-heart beating donor. “Five years ago these kidneys would not have been available for transplant. But research has shown that once these kidneys are revascularized and transplanted into a body, their function can be restored, making them as effective as other kidneys.”
Today an active volunteer at the Foundation, Louise hopes that one day everyone will understand the importance of organ donation. “My name is Louise Laviolette and I am living proof that donating to HealthPartners works.”
I Am Living Proof of your donations at work.
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