Hopkinton Resident Benefits from Home Dialysis

michelle's picture

Imagine hearing the news that your kidneys are failing. In order to stay alive, you will now have to spend at least three days a week at a kidney dialysis center on a regular basis. Suddenly, all of your plans, and the way that you live you life, have changed.

That's exactly what happened to Hopkinton resident Frank Plankey, but with the help of an innovative new approach to kidney dialysis by Fresenius Medical Care, Frank is now able to recapture some of his independence and has more time to do the things that he enjoys.

Plankey was diagnosed with end stage renal failure in July of 2009 and was faced with needing treatment.

“The treatments for kidney failure are dialysis or a kidney transplant," said Plankey, "but there are a lot of people waiting for transplants."

When first diagnosed, Frank underwent the standard dialysis tretament and travelled to a dialysis center three days per week, but, according to his wife, the treatments took a lot out of him.

“He would come home and he'd be wiped out," said his wife, Bonnie. "He'd want to take a nap and he wouldn't have much vim and vigor when he’d come home from the center."

While at the center, Frank paricipated in a Treatment Options Program offered by Fresenius Medical Care that explained all of the treatment options available to patients with kidney failure.

As a result, Frank is now a home hemodialysis patient, and with the help of his wife, Bonnie, and his home care nurse, Cathy, is able to have his dialysis treatments at home. For Frank and Bonnie, the switch to home dialysis has brought several benefits.

“I think the major benefit is that I’m healthier," said Plankey. "The treatments are less aggressive, but more frequent.”

“I get to see him a lot more," said Bonnie. "The think I like best about it is that immediately I could see the difference in him when treatment is finished."

“He’s very self sufficient," said Cathy Grabowksi, Frank's home care nurse. "It’s very flexible for him.”

And flexibility is the key for the Plankeys. Under Frank's new regimen, they are able to travel, something they had always hoped to do during their retirement. With the help of Fresenius Medical Care, Frank has been able to recapture some of his independence.

“He’s the Frank that I knew before we had kidney problems," said Bonnie. "He's an equal partner, whereas before he wasn't feeling well. He's feeling better. It’s not to say that every day is perfect, but it's a much healthier and gentler way for him to get the dialysis that he needs.”

For more information about home hemodialysis and the UltraCare at Home program from Fresenius Medical Care, visit their website..