Kidney failure was harder the second time. At least, it was for Alysia Yamasaki. The first time her kidneys failed was in 1996. She received her first transplant in 1998 and returned quickly to going after her goals and pursuing her dreams. But then in 2014, she began experiencing symptoms of rejection. By 2015, her transplanted kidney was in chronic rejection and Alysia had to return to the waiting list.
This time, the waiting was more difficult. Alysia faced a lot of tiredness, anemia, and water retention. Peritoneal dialysis brought with it a lot of restrictions. She was unable to travel far – always anxiously awaiting “the call.” With a tube in her stomach and spending her nights connected to a dialysis machine, Alysia’s body no longer felt like her own. But by far, the most draining part was seeing the toll her illness was taking on her loved ones – her mother and her partner. But together, they faced it all.
On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Alysia got “the call” from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), inviting her to come receive a donor kidney. The surgery was without complications and the kidney quickly began working in its new home.
As Alysia gratefully adjusts to life off of dialysis again, she and her family and friends are beginning to plan for the future – a normal life with trips and even going back to school. They are thankful for both of the donors and the donor families that are making life possible for Alysia.
Alysia, her friends and family continue to be enthusiastic advocates for organ, eye, and tissue donation. As Alysia says, “You have the power to leave this earth in a meaningful and impactful way by saving someone’s life.”
You can see more of Alysia’s story here, on the Donate Life Northwest YouTube channel, or at her website, www.alysia.info.