In the final installment of our three-part series, we follow the journey of Kerry Kozlowski as she endures kidney failure, dialysis and the search for a kidney donor. This is her story.
More than a year-and-a-half ago, Kerry Kozlowski was hospitalized with hypertension — extremely high blood pressure — after a routine physical. Kozlowski was then diagnosed with kidney failure, beginning her journey with dialysis treatments and an intense search for a kidney donor that she likens to a full-time job.
“About 80 people — people who were not known to me — had reached out and wanted to be my donor,” says Kozlowski, who is married to Christopher Kozlowski, MD, MHA, vice president and medical director of Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health.
Still, she was unable to find a match. Kozlowski’s sister-in-law, Natalie Kozlowski, offered her kidney as part of the paired exchange, which is nationwide database for people who are incompatible but looking for a match. They were matched with a brother and sister from UC Davis.
On May 17, 2016, Kozlowski received her new kidney.
Although peritoneal dialysis — an at-home alternative to traditional dialysis — was working for Kozlowski, she says see can’t imagine not having the transplant procedure.
“I really do think that over time this is going to be the best option for me,” Kozlowski says. “Even though there are restrictions, it comes with a great benefit. It’s a small price to pay for having a new life.”