Kidney failure patient on cross-country road trip visits Bowling Green Dialysis Clinic, shares story of life-changing treatment

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 5:17 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - For the past three months, a couple from Iowa has traveled across the country. Their last stop on this tour being Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Jimmie Bates and his wife, Dawn, are showing and informing the world that there is more to life than just being a dialysis patient.

After being prescribed in-center dialysis, a routine that lead to constant exhaustion and restrictions, Jimmie Bates became aware of a new option called home hemodialysis (HHD).

Dawn says, “We’re looking at what’s going to give him the best quality of life, so we know this machine is gentler on his heart than the ones in center. We also know that slowing down the blood flow rate on this machine is even better on his heart and his fistula. We also slowed down his UF rate so he gets a deeper clean, deeper into those molecules, so his body doesn’t even feel like he’s a dialysis patient.”

HHD allows Jimmie, with the care of his wife, Dawn, to travel across the country. Showing first-hand how you can have kidney disease, but still live life to the fullest.

Christopher Dobbs, Director of Operations at Fresenius Medical Care, says, “They do a type of dialysis that is relatively new in the sense of this particular machine and this particular method, which provides a freedom to our patients that they’ve never had before.”

Dawn describes the process of in-center dialysis saying, “That’s one of the things we lose because when people crash into dialysis...even when they know they’re going to start dialysis, all of a sudden you’re told what you can’t eat, what you can’t drink, what time you have to be at the center, how long you have to be here, and it’s very regimen. They lose time traveling to the center, their time in the center, traveling home, and then the rest of the day for recovery. We don’t have that, you know, wherever we go we’re home.”

Having this at-home option has given Jimmie his life back. He says, “It’s like the outside of the camper says, it says ‘spend your day your way.’ That’s what we want to do. I have to do dialysis, but once that’s done, I can go and do anything else that I want.”

“There are people who are afraid and I understand that, you know, change is scary and you’re already thrown into this world that is scary enough. You’ve been told you have a disease that has no cure, and now people are talking to you about putting needles in yourself and doing your treatments and that’s very scary, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be very empowering,” Dawn adds.

The Bates’ say it is important to be educated on all options that are available. “We have a lot of passion for helping dialysis patients in letting them know that there is another way. That they don’t have to be stuck to a center. Everybody’s different, you know. What works for Jimmie might not work for the next guy, but at least let’s help get them informed.”

Dobbs adds, “Bowling Green, we’re one of three major dialysis facilities in this city and there’s quite a few people on dialysis, so the more we can offer this, a better population can be reached, and currently, right now, we are the only one that offers it.”

“The world needs to be educated. We went out on the road with everything that we needed, our support system in hand. These people are not our friends. They are our family, you know, they got our back,” Dawn explains.

To learn more about Jimmie and Dawn’s story as well as HHD, visit nxstage.com.

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