Lets do this - A Kidney for Melisa
We have 9 weeks till the surgery is booked in for the beginning of October. We thank everyone who has helped us get this far.
End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is the last stage of chronic kidney failure.
My name is Melisa Griffith-Sammy and I was diagnosed with ESRD 3 years ago. There is no cure for ESRD, but it can be treated either by dialysis or kidney transplant.
I have been on dialysis since my diagnosis, 3 days per week 4 hours each day. My sessions start at 5 AM. I am prepped and then connected to a hemodialysis machine by way of an AV graft (an artificial tube surgically implanted into my upper right arm). Blood flows from my arm through the hemodialysis machine where an artificial kidney filters out toxins and removes excess fluid from the blood. The process takes 4 hours to complete and leaves me feeling weak, lightheaded and nauseous. These feelings persist for the rest of the day making it difficult to function and perform even the most basic tasks. By the next day I begin to feel normal again and regain my strength but it is short lived as I must repeat the process again tomorrow.
The past 3 years has been challenging to say the least. Enduring the rigors of dialysis has affected every facet of my life, my health and mobility, my job and finances, it has even robbed me of the ability to reproduce.
But all hope is not lost. A kidney transplant can greatly improve my quality of life and increase the odds of extending my lifespan.
My brother Elson Griffith has selflessly and heroically volunteered to donate one of his kidneys and he is a match.
But we need help from our family and friends to make this happen. The surgery has been scheduled for September 2017 and we need to raise funds to purchase his airline ticket from Sydney, Australia to Trinidad and to perform the surgery.
We are reaching out to all of you and ask that you share this with your friends and colleagues and encourage them to help if they can. No amount is too small, your donation will go a long way to fulfill my dream of once again enjoying something resembling a normal life.
Thank you to all those who have already made a donation either monetarily or otherwise. Your generosity has helped to extend my life and I will be forever grateful.
Elson has arrived in Trinidad and we have completed the final tissue compatibility test which had to be done with both of us in the same country. I am happy to announce that the results were negative which means we can proceed with the transplant. Unfortunately we received some bad news as well. My blood count has dropped critically low, too low to undergo surgery. We have already stated treatment to elevate the blood levels but it will take maybe 2-3 months to safely bring it up to an acceptable level. We have therefore had to postpone surgery which is now scheduled for March 2018. The good news is all the arrangements have already been made for Elson to return at that time.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the persons who contributed to make this transplant possible. We are not there yet but we could not have come this far without your help. Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers.
Elson will be traveling to Trinidad in September 2017 to save his sister life and donate his kidney.
We are running a fundraiser at the end of May. Check it out. You can purchase wine, cooking dough or house hold products from Melaleuca.