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Kidney disease
Kati McGriff

When I was 14 years old I was in the hospital in Dothan, Alabama for a very long time. I had extremely high blood pressure, and the doctors couldn’t figure out why. It got so bad that my mom finally called Birmingham. She spoke to a nurse up there and she told my mom to take me to Birmingham immediately. When we got up there they scheduled me for a kidney biopsy and in less than 24 hours they knew I had a kidney disease. To this day they still aren't sure exactly what it was, but they told us, at that time, that I would need a transplant one day, but no time soon. Well, two years later I had to have a transplant. So, in 2004 I had a transplant. It was a kidney that I had gotten from a lady my dad works with, that I had never met. They did the transplant and things went well for a few months. Then I went into rejection and got a virus. From 2004 to now I have been in the hospital more often than not. I lost my transplant in 2006 and am currently on Peritoneal Dialysis. Because I went into rejection I had to take extremely high doses of steroids. These high doses caused the bones of my hips to deteriorate. In February of 2007 I was in the hospital for the whole month. I had lost a lot of weight and they had to put in a feeding tube. With all I have been through, I have missed a lot of school. ALL of the doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital are wonderful. When I go I am always on the "renal floor." Which is 7NE and they are all my friends. I jokingly call Birmingham my home away from home. Not only because we have to go up there so much, but because I feel at home up there. My doctor, Dr. Katz, is the greatest. Everything that could have gone wrong with my case has, and everything has been so unique. And Dr. Katz and all the other doctors I've seen up there don't treat me like I'm just another patient. They look at my case and treat me as an individual with unique needs. They have teachers up there to help you make up school work and they keep in contact with your school. This came in really nice because 2007 was my senior year and thanks to their help I was able to graduate on time. I'm now in college and I'm doing great. I'm still waiting on my transplant, but I know that if it weren't for Children's I wouldn't be here today. So, to me, Children's Hospital means that I can live a full life.
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