By Dortha Pugh-Thompson, DPC Patient Ambassador

When my doctor told me I had kidney disease, I wasn’t aware of just how serious it was. Two years later, though, I passed out and woke up in the emergency room, where doctors said I was experiencing both kidney failure and heart failure.

Shortly after, I started dialysis. Fortunately, I was able to do in-home dialysis and remain active in my community and my church. Now, even after receiving a transplant, I’ve found my calling as an advocate for dialysis patients, and I am passionate about helping others through their treatments.

​Over the years, I’ve noticed how mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing dialysis can be, especially for people responsible for coordinating all of their appointments, medications, and more by themselves. When I did dialysis, I went through several notebooks just to keep track of everything.

A new bill in Congress called the BETTER Kidney Care Act can help. It would set up a national system for care coordination and make it easier for dialysis patients’ doctors to coordinate in a way that’s best for each patient. I’m hoping Mississippi’s Representatives in Congress, including Representative Trent Kelly, will recognize how much this could help patients and support the bill.

This article was also published in the Daily Journal.