Everette watched his brother suffer from kidney disease for as long as he can remember. He saw his brother go to numerous doctors' appointments and take several different medications to treat his disease. Everette could never imagine one day the disease would hit him.
In 1983, when he was 17-years-old, Everette found out that the illness he'd been feeling was not a case of the flu but rather the result of a failing kidney due to high blood pressure. As opposed to his brother, doctors detected the disease when it was unfortunately too late to be treated with medications. The news came as a shock to Everette and his family, as he had always been very healthy and athletic.
Everette was lucky enough to receive a kidney transplant, however it failed after three years. A second transplanted kidney failed almost immediately, forcing Everette to receive in-center dialysis treatments. Until very recently, Everette would travel 40 minutes to the center for the treatments that lasted anywhere from two to three and a half hours, three times a week.
Everette continued on the dialysis treatment but was unhappy with being tied to the center's schedule and spending so much time there. Of the rigorous in-center treatment schedule, he says "it began to feel like you were on an assembly line." He started researching new dialysis treatments. "I knew there had to be a better way," said Everette.
Everette came across a new treatment based on a portable hemodialysis machine that was being prescribed for patients to use in their home. Everette contacted a few local clinics and within months was enrolled in a study in California, going home with NxStage in early 2004.
Now Everette does his own hemodialysis at home six times a week. His mother is available in case of an emergency, and Everette does the treatment at a time each day that fits his schedule. "I work treatments into my life, not the other way around," he commented. NxStage has become seamlessly integrated into Everette's daily life and he feels much more independent.
Throughout the last seven years, Everette's health has been better than ever and continues to improve. His high blood pressure went down when he started daily, more frequent home hemodialysis with the NxStage system, so much that he no longer takes the 4-5 blood pressure medications he once took. He looks better now and has more energy. Everette has even gone back to playing basketball, a sport he loved but hadn't played in years due to feeling fatigued while doing in-center dialysis treatments.
Everette is so happy that he wants other dialysis patients to know about this option. "Anyone who's capable of doing it should be doing it. It turned my life around," he says of NxStage.
"I thought I was going to be 60 or 70-years-old still going to the clinic to get dialysis," said Everette. "The NxStage system gives me the freedom I wanted and control over my own treatment."