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Contemporary accounts

Some of the remarkable first hand accounts of early dialysis and transplantion.

Robin Eady was a medical student when he discovered that he had renal failure. In 1963 almost nobody received dialysis for chronic renal failure, but he managed to, by going to Seattle, where the first long-term dialysis programme was just beginning. Here he describes the shock of learning his diagnosis, and his experiences off haemodialysis in those very early days. He was believed to be the longest surviving dialysis & tranplant patient in the world when he died in 2017, after a remarkable careerĀ  in which he became a Professor of Dermatology. Dr Belding Scribner wrote a tribute to him in 2000 which is linked from the foot of the linked page.

The Record-holders (History of Nephrology blog) outlines some extraordinary long-term survival tales.
Experiences from the Singapore Kidney Dialysis Foundation are excellent, and don’t pull punches when it comes to bad outcomes either.

Thom Green, drummer with Alt-J (scottishmedicalhumanities.org), developed end stage renal failure with his teens, and describes the shock and difficulty adjusting really well.

Famous American author James A Michener was on dialysis in later life. His dialysis calendar (hosted at Steve Fadem’s nephron.com) describes how he managed it, and gives a poignant account of a young man who didn’t cope. He eventually chose to stop dialysis; there is some discussion of that online. Our article on that.

Peter Lundin developed renal failure as a student in the 1960s – and later became a medical student and nephrologist. He lived for over 30 years, almost all on dialysis, with the same AV fistula. There is a slightly shambolic collection of Dr Lundin’s writings at nephron.com, and particularly suitable for doctors, an excellent article from 1999.

Do you know of other good accounts? Or have your own? Let us know!