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World Kidney Day pushes awareness

With kidney failure, there’s no going back.

Patients can expect a years-long wait for a transplant, and three-times weekly trips to the dialysis ward.

Luckily, chronic kidney disease is largely preventable. The HSA joined in World Kidney Day celebrations to raise awareness, and catch the warning signs before it’s too late.

“I come to dialysis three times a week for 3 1/2 hours,” said dialysis patient Tesha Thomas.

She told says she’s lucky to have an employer who helps accommodate her situation, but still, living with chronic kidney disease isn’t easy.

“It is a bit of a challenge having to balance work life, coming to the unit, and personal life,” she said.

She told Cayman 27 though her kidney disease was largely brought on by another medical issue, she said she would have benefited from some basic kidney awareness. Now, a transplant is her only ticket out of the dialysis unit.

“If I would’ve been more aware of the food that I was eating and how it would impact my kidneys I probably would have been able to stay off of dialysis a little bit longer,” she said.

“It is almost like a new lease on life, like being born again,” said kidney transplant recipient George Jones.

After years on dialysis before his transplant last March, he said he wants to use his experience to help others.

“Often times people tend to wait until the horses out the gate and then they try to close it, and by the time they recognize that they have some form of chronic illness that is already reached a point where it’s going downhill and it requires drastic intervention,” said Mr. Jones.

He told Cayman 27 a proactive approach can be the key in detecting kidney disease before it’s too late. Dr. Nelson Iheonunekwu agrees.

“If you catch it early, there are interventions that can be given that may do things, either reversal, or slow the rate of progression to end stage,” said Dr. Iheonunekwu.

He told Cayman 27 kidney disease is more likely to develop in obese people including in those with diabetes and hypertension.

95 people took advantage of free screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol at the HSA’s world kidney event thursday…

18 of these were referred to the GP clinic due to abnormal signs. 39 were advised by a dietitian.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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