Nikolas is a former NxStage patient who was successfully transplanted in September 2011. He recently wrote NxStage the following note:
On September 15th, 2011, I received word that there was a “perfect match” kidney available and I was next on the transplant list. Despite what you may think, my first reaction was not elation, but rather uncertainty.
Having already gone through one failed transplant, I had become quite comfortable with NxStage dialysis. And so for the past four years, in the comfort of my own home, I dialyzed and really appreciated the stability in health that it helped me maintain. Getting a new kidney, from my perspective, was to trade in that stability for the unknown.
The hospital needed my decision and I was a bit uneasy. But after talking it through with my family and medical staff, I decided that accepting the kidney would be best in the long run. It was a very emotional decision for me.
So far it has worked out very well. I have had my new kidney for four months now, and everything is going great! In my opinion, the reason for the success of this kidney thus far was my overall good health going into the transplant. I truly feel that I was a much healthier candidate for transplant thanks to all of the benefits the NxStage program provided me.
I am truly a lucky guy! Thank you NxStage!
Nikolas still endorses his story here.
Nikolas was born with tumors on each of his kidneys. As a young child, he underwent surgery to have the tumors removed, and due to complications, one of the kidneys failed. As a result, he would live the next 15 years with just half of one kidney. He was fortunate to receive a kidney transplant from his aunt, but within one year, the transplanted kidney failed. Nikolas and his parents considered peritoneal dialysis as a treatment option, but as a result of the many surgeries he'd already had during his young life, Nik had such extensive scar tissue that the procedure to begin peritoneal dialysis was impossible. He would soon be required to begin dialysis treatments.
Nikolas and his parents knew they were faced with a grueling schedule of trips to and from a dialysis center for Nikolas to get treatments that would last 3-4 hours at a time, three times each week. Nikolas' father, Wolfgang, began researching centers with extended hours so that Nikolas could continue going to classes during the day. "We knew the amount of time in-center dialysis involved, and we wanted to find a way for it to be the least disruptive to his life as possible," says Wolfgang.
Through research, they eventually discovered the NxStage System One. The device would not only enable Nikolas to do treatments at home, but also do so on a more frequent basis which is closer to how healthy kidneys work. Nikolas and his parents knew this was the perfect treatment option for him.
Nikolas is currently a student at the Milwaukee School of Engineering where he studies software engineering, a path he chose largely because he has been inspired by the NxStage machine which, he says, "takes something very complex and designs it so that it is easy to use - and, really helps people."