Born and raised in Falmouth, Trelawny, Jamaica, Nordia Whitter, better known as ‘Julian,’ migrated to the United States in December 2013. She currently lives in the city of Boston, Mass.
Before she left Jamaica, she found out that she had lupus. She had the dreaded disease for several years before the discovery was made.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body).
Symptoms of vomiting, swelling of her legs, puffy eyes and shortness of breath brought her to the doctor who diagnosed her with kidney disease. Lupus had badly damaged her kidneys.
Her kidneys got progressively worse, and she has been on dialysis for almost 3 full years. She currently goes through dialysis 3 times a week.
Kidney dialysis is the artificial process of eliminating waste and unwanted water from the blood because the kidney is unable to perform the natural function. It is the artificial replacement for lost kidney function.
To make matters worse, Nordia is currently going through chemotherapy for lupus. This she does once per month. The double trouble from both diseases has made her unable to carry out her normal daily functions. She is plagued by seizures, hypertension, weakness, joint pain among other problems. According to Nordia, at times, she does not even know herself. She is therefore unable to work.
According to her doctors, if she doesn’t get a kidney soon, she might not make it through the next seizure. She also stands the risk of paralysis if she lives. Her last seizure was on Friday:
I just had another seizure on Friday. I am on life support. The doctor say I am lucky because I have had over 6 seizures.
The kidney problem is causing high blood pressure, which in turn causes seizures.
Kidney Donor the Only Hope
Her only hope is to receive a kidney.
She tried the first place one would look, and that is her family. Her close family members got tested, but because Nordia has a rare blood type 0+ (O positive), she could not find a match. Her father Donavan Whitter (better known as Pat Boone or Bat Rat) is ill and so he cannot donate.
Nordia said she also tried a kidney waiting list. She was however taken off the list because of her housing situation and insurance. Even if she got back on, the average waiting time of 5 – 10 years would be too long for her.
Currently, there are over 93,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list. The wait for a deceased donor could be 5 years, and in some states, it is closer to 10 years. Patients are prioritized by how long they’ve been on the waiting list, their blood type, immune system activity and other factors.
Nordia Whitter has no choice but to appeal to the general public for a donor.
A good living donor candidate is someone who is healthy, well-informed and makes a voluntary decision to donate one of their kidneys. Living donors must be over 18 and usually less than 70 years of age. They must be in good general health with no evidence of significant high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease or hepatitis.
Nordia made this video from her hospital bed to appeal to anyone who may be inspired to help her.
She stated that she has one son, aged 13 who is living in Jamaica whom she has not seen for two years. She would love to be healthy enough to be there for him.
She is asking anyone who is interested to help, to call her in the USA at (857) 308-6944 or call her mother Paulette Griffiths in Jamaica at (876) 391-9385.
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