‘I don’t want to die’: 380 Walter Reed patients are looking for kidney donors
By: Natalie Gross
February 26, 2019
Touched by stories like Dadzie’s, Desgoutte-Brown is trying to spread the word about her beloved patients, in hopes that others in the military community would consider coming forward as potential donors.BETHESDA, Md. — “I don’t want to die.”
Navy wife Phyllis Obeng Dadzie, 25, went into kidney failure after giving birth to her son, Prince Charles, last August. (Charles Agyeilarbi)Phyllis Obeng Dadzie said the words quietly, but with a slight chuckle, as though it was obvious. She was sitting with her husband, Navy Chief Petty Officer Charles Agyeilarbi, in a small room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, shivering under a pink winter coat that covered her small frame.
Seven months ago, Dadzie, a native of Ghana, was a healthy 25-year-old, pregnant with the couple’s second child. But in August, complications during the third trimester and the birth of their son, Prince Charles, sent Dadzie into stage 5 kidney disease and, ultimately, to Walter Reed, where she now gets dialysis three times a week.
She’s fully aware of what could happen if she doesn’t get a new kidney soon, but she’s not ready to give up — not with a 2-year-old and a baby at home who need their mom.
“I just want to get a new kidney and live (for) my kids again,” she said. “That’s all that I pray for every day.”
Dadzie is one of about 380 patients at Walter Reed who are on the national kidney transplant list — from troops and military dependents in their young twenties to military retirees who’ve dedicated their lives to service.
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