Being only 35 years old and living with renal failure may be unthinkable for many, but this is Geraldine Ang’s reality. Her life was upended after being diagnosed with renal failure in 2018.
Renal failure (or more commonly known as ‘kidney failure’) means one or both kidneys can no longer function well on their own. When this happens, waste products cannot be filtered well from the blood, subsequently overloading the body with toxins. It can be life threatening, and patients with renal failure will have to undergo dialysis, if the option of a kidney transplant is not available.
Patients undergoing dialysis have to adhere to a special diet, and limit how much they eat and drink. Their diet has to be monitored closely due to a long list of restricted food, making mealtimes and social gathering troublesome.
For Geraldine, renal failure meant having to give up activities which she enjoys like swimming. She is also not able to spend as much time as she wants to with her twin sister because she has to do peritoneal dialysis every evening.
Her livelihood as a stage manager was also adversely affected as she is not always able to work the required hours due to dialysis. With the theatre industry being disrupted by COVID-19 and her work being project-based, her income was insufficient to cover her treatment. While Geraldine tries to keep a positive outlook, her medical costs remain a serious source of worry and stress.
Fortunately, the support from CGH HomeCare Assist (HCA) has provided some relief for her. The CGH (HCA) is a patient welfare programme that provides interim assistance to needy patients with chronic illnesses or conditions. It helps ensure that they have the means to continue to be cared for in their own homes after discharge.
In Geraldine’s case, the support from HCA provided her with financial support for three months of interim haemodialysis before peritoneal dialysis. While her condition remains serious and chronic, the CGH HCA has provided some relief in an especially difficult period.