A Silent but Strong Willed Warrior
– A story told by Jane’s mother
It was during a routine health check-up at a polytechnic enrolment that doctors discovered a high level of protein in Jane’s urine. My daughter was 17 years old. A blood test and ultrasound showed that her kidneys had shrunk. She was referred to a renal specialist, who found that her kidneys were no longer functioning.
More tests showed that she suffered from a genetic condition that affects her body system, causing muscle weakness, hearing loss, stroke and kidney problems. It was later found that I am also a genetic carrier; both her elder sister and younger brother have a milder form of the condition. She started dialysis when she was 18 years old. My husband was also a dialysis patient and had gone for a kidney transplant. But Jane’s condition is worse. Despite this, she managed to complete her course at Temasek Polytechnic, but two days before her graduation ceremony, she had epileptic fits and a stroke. This left her paralysed on the left side of her body. She regained the use of her left arm and hand with physiotherapy, but lost her ability to walk.
Today, although she is unable to hear or walk, she still embraces life daily. She wakes up every day looking forward to the day. She loves food, especially xiao long bao, quo tie and sushi, and will often plan what to eat for her meals. She used to cook for the family before her stroke, when it was easier for her to manage knives, pots and pans. Having studied Food Science and Nutrition, she is aware of the effects of different types of food on her health.
She adjusts her diet whenever necessary to ensure that what she eats is helpful to her. She hopes to become a nutritionist one day.
NKF Children’s Kidney Centre
NKF set up the Children’s Kidney Centre in 2002 to care for children who, at a very young age, are afflicted by kidney failure. This disease causes great disruption to their growing up years and can be equally distressing to the caregivers.
Every dollar you donate goes entirely to our patient care and education & prevention initiatives. This Children’s Day, donate to help children like Jane: http://www.nkfs.org/lifedrops