Fa­ther gives son lifesaving treat­ment for kid­ney dis­ease

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YU in Shi­ji­azhuang zhangyu1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Li Qingzhong has been keep­ing his son alive by car­ry­ing out re­nal dial­y­sis at home ever since the 16-year-old was di­ag­nosed with a chronic kid­ney dis­or­der two years ago.

The teenager suf­fers from ure­mia, a buildup of urea in the blood caused by kid­ney fail­ure, and re­quires dial­y­sis four times a day.

Li learned how to carry out peri­toneal dial­y­sis, the most eco­nom­i­cal method, at home.

He hoped he could avoid ex­pen­sive treat­ments such as a kid­ney trans­plant, which would cost at least 300,000 yuan ($48,800), or hemodial­y­sis, in­volv­ing reg­u­lar vis­its to the hos­pi­tal.

How­ever, de­spite two years of lov­ing care, the son’s con­di­tion is de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and he now needs a trans­plant.

The fam­ily’s sit­u­a­tion is made worse by the fact that Li’s daugh­ter also suf­fers from ure­mia.

Li learned about peri­toneal dial­y­sis at Bei­jing Haid­ian Hos­pi­tal, and then set aside a room at his home in Chengde, He­bei province, to ad­min­is­ter the treat­ment.

The room, mea­sur­ing just 2 square me­ters, con­tains a peri­toneal dial­y­sis ma­chine, an ul­tra­vi­o­let lamp to dis­in­fect equip­ment, and two chairs.

An ad­join­ing room con­tains boxes of peri­toneal dial­y­sis so­lu­tion that cost 6,000 yuan for a month’s sup­ply.

“At first I was wor­ried that my mis­han­dling of the dial­y­sis process could re­sult in the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of my son’s con­di­tion,” said Li, 50.

“Now I have taught my wife and son to do the in­jec­tion and dial­y­sis.”

Their help means he has some spare time to work and earn money.

The train­ing at Bei­jing Haid­ian Hos­pi­tal con­sists of four two-hour lessons. More than 100 pa­tients and their fam­i­lies have taken the course.

The main risk is in­fec­tion, but this can be avoided if the equip­ment — which costs 1,000 yuan — is dis­in­fected prop­erly.

Doc­tors and nurses reg­u­larly visit pa­tients at home to give guid­ance and make sure the process goes smoothly.

How­ever, Li now re­al­izes he must find the money to pay for a trans­plant.

“I want my son to live like a nor­mal person,” he said.

Li and his wife took a test at the hos­pi­tal of Bei­jing Armed Po­lice Corps on Wed­nes­day to see if their kid­neys match their son’s. The re­sults are due next week.

If they do not match, Li will ask the hos­pi­tal to put his son on the trans­plant wait­ing list un­til a suit­able or­gan is found.

How­ever the fam­ily needs help. Li can­not af­ford the test and med­i­cal fees for two pa­tients, let alone a trans­plant.

The 25-year-old daugh­ter, whose con­di­tion is more se­vere than the son’s, un­der­goes hemodial­y­sis at a lo­cal hos­pi­tal.

Over the past two years, Li has run up debts as he spent more than 300,000 yuan on treat­ment.

His daugh­ter’s hus­band walked out when she was di­ag­nosed in 2012, leav­ing her with 50,000 yuan fol­low­ing their di­vorce in Fe­bru­ary.

Yang Qi­uyi, an of­fi­cial at the com­mis­sion, said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the fam­ily’s sit­u­a­tion and will pro­vide help if nec­es­sary.

WANG HAIQI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Li Qingzhong, a 50-year-old farmer who was di­ag­nosed with ure­mia, shows his 16-year-old son with the same dis­ease how to do peri­toneal dial­y­sis at their home in Chengde, He­bei province, in April.

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