Bittersweet milestone for kidney disease patient

Six people standing in a treatment area. In front of them on a table is some flowers and a cake.
Kidney disease survivor John Kita, his wife Rhodelyn and children Richard and Jane, with Nephrologist Dr Ashley Irish and Renal Dialysis Nurse Unit Manager Karen Si
November 22, 2018

Staff at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) have honoured dialysis patient John Kita to recognise a very rare feat – living with kidney disease for 50 years and counting.

Nephrologist Dr Ashley Irish said John’s milestone was a remarkable achievement.

“Very few people globally survive this long with kidney failure. We know of one other patient in WA and another is close behind,” Ashley said.

“The average life span of a kidney transplant recipient is about 20 to 30 years and much less for those on dialysis, although this continues to improve. John has certainly defied the odds with excellent care and his good physical condition.”

John was diagnosed with nephritis at just 22 years of age and underwent dialysis for three years before having a successful kidney transplant.

John said his transplant lasted 32 years before he was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure and has been undergoing four hour dialysis, three times a week for the past 15 years.

“I am no longer eligible for a transplant, so I need to ensure I attend my dialysis appointments to give myself the best quality life,” John said.

“I wouldn’t be here today without the incredible doctors and staff at FSH, they all do an exceptional job to keep my spirits lifted and my health in order.

“I appreciate the effort the team has gone to recognise this milestone, it really is bittersweet for me.”

FSH’s renal dialysis unit sees about 75 patients a week for life saving treatment.

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