Big Freedom: How Home Dialysis Gave Suzana the Life She Dreamed Of

March 12, 2024

Suzana was only 41 when, despite transplants at 3 and 18, her kidneys failed and she learned she would need hemodialysis.

Initially, Suzana navigated the challenges of in-hospital hemodialysis at another Ontario hospital, including travelling throughout the week for hours-long dialysis sessions. However, it was a surprise discovery while watching television that introduced her to home dialysis.

“I was watching TV one day when I saw a women talking about home dialysis. She showed a machine in her home and everything. I had no idea this existed!” says Suzana. This newfound discovery fed Suzana’s determination to explore home dialysis as an option.

“Home dialysis allows me to focus on what truly matters and to cherish every moment of my life.” says Suzana.

Home dialysis allows patients to perform and manage treatments in the comfort and privacy of their own homes, offering a level of customization and independence that isn’t achievable with in-centre dialysis.

Suzana was disappointed to learn the hospital she received treatment at didn’t offer home dialysis, but remained steadfast in her pursuit of finding a home dialysis option that would afford her greater freedom and flexibility.

“When it comes to dialysis, I’m my own advocate,” says Suzana. Her drive ultimately led her to Humber River Health, where she found a supportive team, including the late Dr. Andreas Pierratos, who enthusiastically embraced home dialysis as part of her treatment plan. Over a decade later, Suzana is still practicing home dialysis through Humber.

For Suzana, home dialysis has been nothing short of life changing, providing her with a newfound sense of independence and empowerment.

The impact of home dialysis on Suzana’s quality of life cannot be overstated. “It’s given me options in life I never thought possible,” says Suzana. “Home dialysis allows me to focus on what truly matters and to cherish every moment of my life.”

By having the option to customize her dialysis routine to fit her lifestyle, Suzana has regained control over her life, allowing her to pursue her passions, travel, and cherish precious moments with family and friends. Having a personalized home dialysis routine has even allowed her to become a personal trainer! “I can eat whatever I want, go wherever I want and live the life I want to live. It’s given me freedom, big freedom!” says Suzana.

Some of Suzana’s advocacy work includes helping the home dialysis team at Humber where she speaks to and comforts incoming patients. “I want people to know that home dialysis can be a fearless process that can change their day to day life.” says Suzana.

By sharing her story, Suzana hopes to raise awareness about home dialysis as a viable treatment option, empowering others to reclaim their independence and live life to the fullest. “I am forever grateful for my team at Humber. Thank you for giving me my life back!”

Empowering Nephrology Patients: Transition Care Unit

Learning to live with kidney failure is a significant adjustment for both patients and their families. Thanks to the support of our donors, Humber continues to uphold its promise of accessible healthcare by developing programing like our Transition Care Unit, which empower nephrology patients with greater flexibility and autonomy over their treatment. To learn more, please contact Caterina Magisano at