August Calendar Kid: Crossing country lines for Maydelin’s life-saving kidney care at CHoR
August 03, 2022
CHoR calendar kid Maydelin smiling and looking at her cell phone

    Crossing country lines for Maydelin’s life-saving kidney care at CHoR

    Like most parents, 15-year-old Maydelin Juarez’s mom, Consuelo, is willing to go to great lengths for her daughter’s health – including visiting multiple hospitals and moving to a new country to find the best care.

    In search of quality, efficient kidney care when time was of the essence

    Maydelin was diagnosed with lupus and associated end stage renal disease in 2018. She began dialysis in her home country of Guatemala but would ultimately need a kidney transplant to save her life and restore her health. While transplants are rarely a quick and simple process, they’re particularly expensive and time-consuming in Guatemala.

    “In 2019 we decided to travel to the United States because I saw on the internet that they performed kidney transplants more frequently here,” said Consuelo.

    They arrived first in Las Vegas where they have family but, although the hospital treated them well, they couldn’t provide all the care Maydelin needed. Thankfully, the doctor there knew who could and referred her to Dr. Timothy Bunchman and our nephrology team at CHoR. With their hopes set on saving Maydelin, the whole family packed up again and moved to Richmond.

    Finding the right team for Maydelin at CHoR

    “From the day we arrived, we felt relief in our hearts seeing how everyone treated us so kindly,” said Consuelo. “The doctor, nurses and social worker were all very attentive and gave us high hopes. Coming here was the best decision we could make.”

    Getting Maydelin on track for her transplant and ensuring her health since have certainly been a team effort and Maydelin and her family have been the star players.

    “Maydelin is a wonderful young woman with a lovely family. Before her kidney transplant our team all worked with them to make sure they understood what would be involved after the transplant, and they were very receptive and grateful for her care,” said Jules Goble, nurse navigator in our nephrology program.

    It’s now been more than a year since Maydelin’s kidney transplant and she’s doing wonderfully, thanks to her family’s dedication. They came to clinic three times a week immediately post-transplant, following all the care team’s instructions and making sure Maydelin took her medications as prescribed.

    “Maydelin will need lifelong renal transplant care, but her visits with us have become much less frequent. We now see her six to eight times a year,” said Dr. Bunchman. “With her positive attitude and diligence in following her treatment plan, she can go on to have a normal life.”

    Facing the future with courage and fun

    CHoR patient Maydelin smiling in the car

    Above all, Maydelin’s positivity is perhaps what makes her mom most proud of her.

    “Maydelin has had such a good attitude facing her health problems. Sometimes she has her ups and downs, but she always comes back with more strength,” added Consuelo. “She’s very strong, intelligent and funny. She makes everyone smile and she has faced her situation with great courage.”

    Maydelin’s next adventure will be traveling back to Vegas to visit her uncle, and her friends at CHoR can’t wait to hear about the trip.

    “Over the months Maydelin has blossomed into a beautiful, smart young woman,” added Jules. “Our goal for our transplant patients is always to live a normal, fulfilled life and Maydelin is definitely doing that.”

    Find out more about our nationally ranked pediatric nephrology care at CHoR.

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