Mother starts Facebook group for kidney patients, after her son’s ordeal

When someone talks about a kidney ailment we generally feel that they are suffering from a serious condition. But, although it might be a delicate situation, it is important to remember that things will get better. Thinking on the same lines a mother has started a Facebook group, through which she helps other parents who face similar situations which were close to her experience, she had when her son was affected with a kidney condition

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Her son was suffering from a kidney ailment at a young age of 17. She saw some tough times when her son was undergoing treatment for his kidney. In 1999, she voluntarily donated her kidney to her son as his own kidney was failing him.

When someone talks about a kidney ailment we generally feel that they are suffering from a serious condition. But, although it might be a delicate situation, it is important to remember that things will get better.

Her son was suffering from a kidney ailment at a young age of 17. She went through some tough times during this time period.

In 1999, she voluntarily donated her kidney to her son Aditya as he was on the verge of dying from kidney failure. And, only a transplant could have saved his life.

This gesture of motherly love helped in giving her son a new lease of life.

But a few years down the line, in the year 2005, Aditya started developing problems in the other healthy kidney. And soon even his second kidney was beginning to show symptoms of kidney failure.

In 2010, Aaditya had to undergo a second kidney transplant. During this time period, she began to feel very depressed and demotivated in her. As this was the second time, for her since she dealt with the first kidney failure of her son she was dealing with this problem.

But suddenly, she realised that she is not the only one who is facing this kind of situation. She felt that if I am demoralised, then who will look after my child, I cannot let my sadness or anxiety come in the way, as I love him

It also began to dawn on her that there are many people who are going through or have been through a similar situation. But there is no one to guide them during this daunting duration of time.

Thankfully, her son made a successful recovery and is now working with a company in Canada.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Vasundhara Raghavan, a 65-year-old Mumbai resident, said, “I realised that my child is affected with this condition, what about the other children who are facing a similar ordeal, how are their parents coping with it. Patients with kidney problems are required to follow a certain kind of diet but no one is there to guide them. This inspired me to start a Facebook page (group) for patients with kidney disease.”

She added, “In 2014, I started my first Facebook group, through this page we provide information and guidance about nutrition and diet for kidney patients. It is very important for a person to know what kind of diet that they should follow as each patient has a different diet. Nutrition plays a vital role when it comes to kidney ailments; through the platform of social media we inform patients and their family member of their dietary needs. As each person requires a diet which is tailored to their specific health needs.”

Raghavan further, said, “Through the group we guide them on what to eat and avoid.”

She stated, “It is important to follow certain dietary rules to for maintaining a healthy kidney. Just as we pay attention to other organs, it is important that we don’t overlook or ignore our kidneys. One should go in for a screening, once in a while so that any disease or ailment is detected on time. Prevention is better that cure. Early detection leads to early diagnosis which in turn helps save the patient’s life.”

Apart from this the Facebook group gives short and effective tips which they can follow. She said, “People who are affected with a kidney ailment or condition should see to it that they exercise regularly. Follow a nutritious diet, keep a check on one’s weight, controlling and maintaining a healthy weight. Drinking two litres of water a day, avoid antibiotics if they are not required or not advised by doctors. We give them such tips on the Facebook groups.”

She explained, “This group was stared four years ago and we now have 16,000 followers, so far. And the on the second group which is aimed towards informing patients about diet has 2,500, so far.”

Raghavan elaborated, “Through these two groups patients and their family members or loved ones ask us questions. They tell us about the problems that they have been facing. They express their feelings to us. We do our best to clarify their doubts and quell any fears or apprehensions that they might be having. We also tell them about what course of treatment is best suited to their needs.”

She said, “When a patient is diagnosed with any disease, once the patient is aware about the disease that he suffering form they get worried. And if a patient is told that their kidney is going to fail then they get scared.”

She added,“During this time, the patient requires a lot of family support. The patient can overcome any obstacles as long he has the familial support. Just because one is suffering from a serious kidney condition, they should not believe that this is the end of the line. Kidney diseases are curable; if you are suffering from it then you should not view it as a death sentence. You should not lose hope and should keep fighting with all the self-confidence that you have. Never give up. It is essential to stay positive and believe that you have the potential to overcome any difficulties in life.”