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Kidney transplant recipient hopes to donate unused dialysis supplies

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:38 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A Jonesboro man recently received a life-changing gift, and now he’s hoping to help others facing the same struggles.

Derrick Winters received a new kidney just two weeks ago, after using peritoneal dialysis for over five years.

“It started out a hereditary polycystic kidney disease,” said Winters. “About 35, I was in end-stage renal failure, which you have to go on either [hemodialysis] or peritoneal dialysis.”

Winters chose to use peritoneal dialysis, which allows the person to do treatments from the comfort of their home, rather than using a hemodialysis clinic.

Winters says this can be more costly for dialysis patients.

“If they don’t have insurance or don’t have the benefits, there’s people struggling that would probably have to go to hemo just because they can’t afford to do peritoneal,” said Winters.

Winters said he knew he would have a long wait for a new kidney, but after five years, he got the call that would change his life.

“It’s a bittersweet thing when you get a phone call and they tell you you’ve got an organ,” said Winters.

Now, Winters says his health has improved dramatically.

“It’s just a whole life-changing experience to have an organ and feel like I haven’t in 20 years.”

Winters hopes to help someone else using PD by donating his unused supplies.

“You have to have it to stay alive,” said Winters. “When you’re on dialysis, your first concern is how am I going to pay for it?”

Derrick has dozens of boxes of untouched supplies like solution bags of all strengths, cassettes for the cycler, and caps and manual bags.

He hopes these supplies could benefit someone else, and says the medical supplier, Baxter, cannot take the supplies back.

“I know people could use it out there rather than it get destroyed or thrown away,” said Winters.

Winters also wants to give encouragement to others on the transplant list, letting them know the fight is worth it.

“That was my life for five years. And now, I have freedom and I feel better,” said Winters.

If you or someone you know could benefit from Winters’ peritoneal dialysis supplies, reach out to him on Facebook.

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