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Independent Living with Home Dialysis

Hasmik Mouradian

Posted July 4, 2006

What a great week to talk about home hemodialysis... the week of Independence Day. Our guest is Hasmik Mouradian, who knows about dialysis and the independence that home hemodialysis can offer.

Hasmik began dialysis when only 16 years old. Not knowing what was wrong, her parents took her to the doctor because she had swollen legs. “The next thing I knew, I had to start dialysis,” says Hasmik, who was living in her native country of Armenia at the time.

“I was one of the luckiest people,” explains Hasmik, “because I started dialysis when the big earthquake of 1988 happened in Armenia. Before that, my country could not provide adequate treatment due to lack of supplies and technology. We had lots of help from the United States and Europe. Patients survived because of this help. I was one of them.”

While in the hospital, a nephrologist took special notice of Hasmik, who was one of the youngest patients there on dialysis. He recommended to her parents that they obtain a visa and bring her to the United States for treatment so that she would have a better chance at life. With the help of Medical Outreach, they were successful.

“The first day I walked into the dialysis unit here, I had all the help I was expecting,” says Hasmik.

Currently, Hasmik performs home hemodialysis and practices self-care. “It was very scary at first,” she remembers, “because there was no one I could depend on. I had a supporter, but they were not trained the way I was trained.” But, she pushed past the fear and completed her first home hemodialysis treatment. “When I was done, I said, ‘Oh my God, I did it! This is wonderful. I can do anything!’”

Hasmik now works for the very nephrologist who noticed her in the hospital in Armenia. It was through working for him that she learned about home hemodialysis. If she could tell other dialysis patients anything, she would tell them, “Give home hemo a chance. I have control of my life, not somebody else. And that’s the greatest feeling!”

Information on home hemodialysis can be found on the following websites:

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With your Hosts...

Stephen FurstStephen Furst got his big break into movies in "Animal House," in which he played Flounder. Stephen has also starred as Dr. Elliot Axelrod in "St. Elsewhere" and as Vir Cotto in "Babylon5." He is a successful television and movie producer/director and a kidney patient.


Lori HartwellLori Hartwell is the author of Chronically Happy - Joyful Living in Spite of Chronic Illness, and President/Founder of Renal Support Network. A kidney patient since the age of two, she has consistently strived to instill hope into the lives of people who live with chronic kidney disease. 



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