“Watch What I Can Do”
A patient’s transformation at DeSoto Regional Dialysis Center
A female patient in her mid-50s was brought into DeSoto Regional Dialysis Center to begin her admission process. Ms. Patricia Garcia was wheelchair-bound, weak and very sick, diagnosed with both ESRD and end stage liver disease. Many facilities would have turned her away as a lost cause.
But not Clinic Manager Elizabeth Gomez, the clinic staff at DeSoto Regional Dialysis Center and Ms. Garcia’s nephrologist. They did everything they could for Patricia, including inspiring hope; they set a goal to get her healthy enough to survive when she received her transplant.
Not “if,” but “when.”
This dedication to patient care is seen clearly within the Dallas Nephrology Associates (DNA), one of the largest groups of practicing nephrologists in the country and the group that owns DeSoto Regional Dialysis Center in a partnership with ARA. DNA is focused on providing the best possible personalized care for each patient. And this is why a partnership with ARA made sense.
According to Gomez, “It’s a team effort. The patients have things they have to do and [there are] things we have to do, but together, we can make a difference.”
With regular dialysis treatments, Patricia did feel better – she engaged in conversation and wore makeup again. And she continued to improve. Her albumin level (a measure of the most common protein found in the blood), for example, increased from a 2.8 when she first arrived to a 3.4. The ARA care team was witnessing a true transformation, which positioned Patricia to become eligible for both a kidney and liver transplant.
Then Patricia got the call: she would receive the transplants she needed.
Patricia came back to the facility one week after her transplant to thank the staff for their help and support. When she was greeted outside by the DeSoto staff and offered a wheelchair, Patricia said, “No. Watch what I can do.” She stood up and walked into the facility, ahead of the staff who greeted her.
A few months later, Patricia returned, once again to express her gratitude. She walked into the facility dressed to the nines, wearing heeled boots. No longer did she look like a sick patient, but a dashing businesswoman, one who also looked 10 years younger than the first time she walked through the facility’s doors.
Throughout it all, Patricia’s husband fought for her to receive the best possible care, and listened closely to everything the staff at DeSoto suggested. The doctors at UT Southwestern frequently informed him of a competitor’s facility that was closer to the hospital to try to make the back-and-forth trips easier on him.
He wouldn’t budge. The staff at DeSoto recall him summarizing these discussions, stating that his response to the hospital was, “We’re staying over there with the DeSoto team. They know what they’re doing. They take good care of us.”