Kenyan man in US with kidney failure appeals for help
My name is Joab Wako, I’m 25, and I have kidney failure. I came to the US in 2010 to study engineering, and graduated with honors in a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 2014. I currently work as an industrial engineer at Fehrer Automotive.
In April this year, I was rushed to hospital, not knowing the intensity of my illness. In fact, by the time I was going to the hospital, my blood count had dropped from a normal of about 14 to 3.9; doctors were amazed I was still coherent. I had been feeling sick most of March, but I didn’t think it was serious. After a laborious bout with many doctors, and a plethora of erroneous diagnoses, it was finally discovered that I have kidney failure.
It’s been a tough journey since April, but because of supportive family and friends, I am here today. I feel like it isn’t the failure itself that’s difficult, it’s the reactions I get from people about it. A lot of them ask how it happened; why did they fail? Will they start working again; ‘you are so young’ is a common one. It’s hard because I don’t have the answers why my kidneys failed, or if they will ever come back. It’s even harder because I feel helpless and like a reluctant rollercoaster passenger terrified of the ride I will have to endure the rest of my life.
Kidney failure is many things. To me it’s a turning point in my life. I have discovered who I really am, and what having a positive attitude can do; you can decide the impact an event has on your life. And I decided that this is going to build me. I feel like kidney failure has made me appreciate life even more than I did before; and a kidney transplant will give me some time from dialysis to explore this beautiful earth.
A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. My first step is a kidney.
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