Rejection: A patient's perspective {Series}

IROC’s mission is to partner with patients with kidney disease and their caregivers to achieve health, longevity and quality of life equivalent to the general population. IROC is committed to lowering rejection rates within this group. As part of an ongoing conversation, our community members reflect on rejection and how it impacts their family.

By Kristin Hunt, transplant recipient

I was 23 years old and was told that my creatinine was elevated, and my numbers were not right. I drove to Hopkins to see my adult team and have my labs repeated. My new labs were even worse, they decided they needed a biopsy and I had never had a biopsy on my transplanted kidney and was terrified. They kept me awake and didn’t numb the area. The biopsy itself was not bad but thinking I might lose my kidney was a nightmare. I tried to take the best care I could of Bud (that’s what I have named my kidney, he’s my buddy). The thought of having to go back on dialysis made brushing my teeth in the morning almost impossible. I was extremely lucky. I had to do a course of steroids to get the rejection under control and a month later my creatinine came back down within normal range. No one wants to have rejection and there is no “right” way to treat it. Every case is unique just like everybody responds differently to the same situation. I do know that I pray I and all my transplant friends never experience rejection.