In the final installment of a three-part series, we follow the journey of Kerry Kozlowski. This is her story facing kidney failure, dialysis and searching for a kidney donor.
More than a year-and-a-half ago, Kerry Kozlowski was hospitalized with hypertension — extremely high blood pressure — after a routine check-up. Then she received a kidney failure diagnosis. Then her journey with dialysis treatments started. Likewise, an intense search for a kidney donor began, which she likens to a full-time job.
The Search for a Donor
“About 80 people — people who were not known to me — reached out wanting to be my donor,” says Kerry, 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. Her sister-in-law, Natalie Kozlowski, offered her kidney as part of a paired exchange. This is a 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, Kerry received her new kidney.
Although peritoneal dialysis — an at-home option to traditional dialysis — was working for her, she says see can’t imagine not having the transplant procedure.
“I really do think over time this is going to be the best option for me,” she says. “Even though there are restrictions, it comes with a great benefit. It’s a small price to pay for having a new life.”