NASSAU, The Bahamas – “My brother was 39 when he was diagnosed with Kidney Disease and was in renal failure; we were in total denial because he was tall, healthy looking and full of life,” `agreed that we did not want him on dialysis for a long period of time, so we began the process to see if any of us could be a match. Thankfully I was successful in the screening process, I love my brother and I knew donating one of my kidneys would give him a better quality of life.”
Their heartwarming story piqued the interest of many in need of support, information and resources to navigate the challenges faced with a kidney disease diagnosis. Upon researching options available for kidney patients, Roberts and her brother Antonio did not find much since the closure of Bahamas Kidney Foundation. It was time to create something new for the community and Roberts embraced the challenge.
“Dr. Ada Thompson was the founder of the Bahamas Kidney Foundation; however, she was in retirement. We attempted to revive the foundation but ended up having to start over and so the Bahamas Kidney Association was established with her support. She asked me to lead it and I said yes because the need out there is so great and my brother and I really wanted to do something to help,” she explained.
Monalisa Wemyss, Oaktree Medical Center, Operations Manager; Tamika Roberts, President, Bahamas Kidney Association; Nurse Jamie Sears, Kidney Clinic Charge Nurse; and Nephrologist and Oaktree Medical Center Medical Director Dr. Don Deveaux during $10,000 check presentation to the Bahamas Kidney Association.
Globally, the month of March is recognized as World Kidney Month which focuses on awareness and prevention of kidney related diseases. The Bahamas Kidney Association 2022 theme, “Bridge the Knowledge Gap to Better Kidney Care” resonated with Nephrologist and Oaktree Medical Center Medical Director Dr. Don Deveaux.
“While I was a medical student, a family member developed kidney problems and I saw what it did to him and the immediate family because it is very involved for both. I then took a keen interest in the kidneys and decided to specialize in this area,” explained Dr. Deveaux.
As a result, Oaktree Medical Center’s Kidney Clinic recently donated $10,000 to the Bahamas Kidney Association to further advance its kidney and preventative awareness measures while assisting with the transplantation process for persons affected by kidney disease.
“I am very encouraged by the work being done by the rejuvenated Bahamas Kidney Association because the country is greatly impacted. This is just one step to really push the goals of the Association and tangibly help people in need,” said Dr. Deveaux.
As the first major donation from a local kidney facility, Roberts is grateful to Dr. Deveaux and the Kidney Clinic for supporting the association.
“There are no words to express my gratitude for this donation coming from a Nephrologist, from a kidney center. It truly shows how much Oaktree Medical Center really understands the vision and goal of the Bahamas Kidney Association. The association has such an uphill battle and to see the support of Dr. Deveaux means so much for the infancy of our association to be heard, trusted and supported.”
On average, renal patients will visit kidney dialysis facilities 12-15 hours per week and it is essential for patients to feel a sense of support while receiving the best care possible. Nurse Jamie Sears, Kidney Clinic Charge Nurse at Oaktree Medical Center, makes it her mission to show a smile through the mask to bring comfort to her dialysis patients.
“I love what I do and to be able to help kidney patients during their time of need is so important. Oaktree stands as a beacon of hope, not just to give a service but to actually care. We want our patients to feel like healthcare professionals care about them and demonstrate kindness and compassion. I am so proud of the Kidney Clinic for tangibly supporting the Bahamas Kidney Association and the good work being done,” expressed Nurse Sears.
During this month of awareness and throughout the year, Dr. Deveaux encourages all Bahamians to take kidney care seriously.
“Roughly one in ten persons are affected by some form of kidney disease which is a highly prevalent condition. Unfortunately, a person can be asymptomatic without feeling any symptoms at all. As a result, annual check-ups are essential, some of the early signs a kidney related issues may be detected by checking urine and routine blood works. Creatinine is a marker used to measure the kidney numbers and that is part of the readings for annual blood work,” explained Dr. Deveaux.
Nephrologists strongly recommend exercising at least 30 minutes five days a week, drinking plenty of water, eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and having annual check ups.
The Kidney Clinic provides personalized care to improve the health of complex patients so they live life to the fullest. On average, renal patients will visit the facility 12-15 hours per week. Our state of the art dialysis center delivers comprehensive care services to end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients while offering the reassurance of staff-assisted treatment, labs and checkups in one place. The clinic’s interdisciplinary care team of nephrologists, nurses, nutritionists and pharmacists provide exceptional care for all patients in a safe, caring environment.
Oaktree Medical Center (OMC), a world-class medical facility provides high quality, holistic, patient-centred, affordable medical services in a safe, caring environment. They provide customized care to meet the needs of each patient and health condition. OMC is focused on family values and its doors are open to serve the community.