Previous kidney recipient needs new kidney after 10 years - - Columbia, South Carolina

Previous kidney recipient needs new kidney after 10 years


Just over ten years ago, Emma Jean Swinton was laying in a hospital bed recovering from a life-saving kidney transplant.

"I had a kidney transplant in 2002, which was very successful and functional until 2012," said Swinton.

Last fall, Swinton's body began rejecting the kidney that had kept her healthy for a decade.

"I went into rejection in September and I had to resume dialysis in October," said Swinton.

Swinton began going back to dialysis treatments three days a week, five hours each day.

"I went through a depression stage, but I tried to be a faithful and positive person, so I pulled myself out of the depression," said Swinton.

When she had a new kidney, she had her life back, doing her normal activities and going to the bathroom when she wanted. All of a sudden, she was severely limited again.

"It takes some getting used to, but life goes on," Swinton said. "I'm still alive. I'm thankful that somebody discovered this treatment -- this process. I would be dead otherwise."

Kidney transplants are not expected to last forever. Transplant professionals say the average is about 10 years if the patient is fortunate, but many do not last that long.

"I'm aware that it may be quite some time before I am awarded another kidney," said Swinton.

For now, Swinton will stick with dialysis, but hopes it will not be for much longer.

"If I have to, so be it, but with transplantation, you can resume your regular standard of living," said Swinton.

Doctors need to know Swinton can handle another kidney transplant, so over the next few months, she says she'll complete all the medical, mental, and financial exams needed to get her name back on the transplant list.

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