Bath village resident relocates to Antigua to access dialysis treatment

Kenny Claxton, has relocated to Antigua to access dialysis treatment

BATH VILLAGE, Nevis, April 23, 2011. Kenny Claxton, a 37 year old promising sports officer and musician has relocated to Antigua to access dialysis treatment following the failure of his two kidneys.

Dialysis is a treatment that does some of the things done by healthy kidneys. It is needed when both kidneys can no longer take care of the body’s needs. Dialysis removes waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body and also keeps a safe level of certain chemicals in the blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate and helps to control blood pressure.

Claxton, a father of six children, is not the first patient to seek dialysis treatment away from his home islands, St. Kitts and Nevis. Music maestro, Ellie Matt from St. Kitts, lives in Puerto Rico where he has access to dialysis treatment to save his life. He is hopeful that he will get a kidney donor.

Blondina Williams, a Nevisian woman travels twice per week to Anguilla where she undergoes dialysis treatment and at times to cut down on costs, she stays in St. Maarten and Anguilla to access dialysis treatment.

Claxton did not foresee the onset of his kidneys failure. He sought medical treatment because he was vomiting, had dry skin and had severe headaches. After his visit to a local doctor, he was advised to do ultra sound. To his amazement, his kidneys had already stopped functioning. Claxton said the only health condition he had battled with was high blood pressure since 2005. He believes blood pressure caused his kidneys’ failure.

Blondina Williams travels to Anguilla twice per week to access dialysis treatment

On the day he was taken for emergency treatment, he could not walk. He was airlifted to Antigua and on arrival at the airport; he was driven by an ambulance to St. John’s Hospital emergency ward. He was treated by a kidney specialist, Dr Ian Thomas. During a recent visit to Nevis, Dr.Thomas was reported saying blood pressure and diabetes are high risk factors for kidney failure.

Dr Thomas referred Claxton to Barbados to get his shun so as to facilitate access for the dialysis procedures. Twice a week, Claxton goes through a haemo-dialysis. Haemo-dialysis replaces the functions of normal kidneys by removing waste products from the body.

His initial treatment cost him EC15,000. Nevis Island Administration (NIA) gave him money for tickets and other general costs. His family and the Nevis Renal Society helped him raise the money. Well wishers too, among them the Rhythm Theatre, and the Ultra Sonic Band.(Claxton is a member of the band.)

Every month, he spends EC$6,000. He is housed by a friend in Antigua. Despite NIA, friends and family subsidies Claxton owes the hospital EC$30,000. Another Nevisian Blondina Williams who has been on dialysis treatment owes for over 13 years owes over $500,000. The Executive Board members of the Nevis Renal Society hold the conviction that the money being spent by kidney failure patients can sustain a dialysis centre in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Claxton’s dialysis treatment is twice per week. He said the dialysis treatment helps a great deal. “If you cannot get a kidney transplant, you can lead a normal life due to dialysis treatment,” Claxton said.

Ellie Matt, music maestro relocated to Puerto Rico to access dialysis treatment

He noted that while in Barbados, doctors there were amazed that there was no dialysis centre in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. He is encouraged to learn that the Nevis Renal Society is working closely with the Ministry of Health and well wishers to establish a dialysis centre at the Alexander Hospital.
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Ellie Matt is on record saying, “I hope the government will try their best to put a dialysis machine in place so I can come home and receive treatment there. Derrick Thomas, my friend is in Puerto Rico, is also doing dialysis and there are others; so it wouldn’t be Ellie Matt alone but also to help others who are overseas and would like to come home.”

Hon. Hensley Daniel is on record saying that he has had discussions with personnel at some of the existing dialysis centers in the region to facilitate the process of establishing a dialysis centre. During Dr Thomas ‘s visit, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Patrick Martin, informed a public forum that cost sharing between the private and government will be the way forward in funding health care in the Federation. He said efforts by Pink Lily Cancer Care and Nevis Renal Society were commendable.

Claxton called on persons suffering from blood pressure and diabetics to have regular check-ups. “You may not know your kidneys are affected until the kidneys fail. He also said even those not at risk of getting kidney failure should prevent it by drinking a lot of water. Drinking plenty of water helps kidneys to flush out waste from the body.” He also warned against putting too much salt in food.

Claxton was interviewed by Newslink during his monthly visit to Nevis.

*Article Courtesy, Nevis Renal Society by Pauline Ngunjiri

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