Ndumiso N. - Diagnosed at age 17
My mother passed away in September 2005 and my father in November 2005 with my 15th birthday and my brother's 13th birthday falling slap-bang in the middle. Fortunately for my brother, he was able to stay with another family after the unfortunate losses suffered. I on the other hand did not deal with their loss in the most conducive manner and as a result of not processing their grief, my lupus was triggered, and in December 2007 I was placed on kidney dialysis and my life changed forever.
I had to spend Christmas in the hospital (still have the photos) and was discharged a few days later. The following January was my final year of High School, however, instead of it being one of the best years of my life it was one of the worst. I had to constantly hide my hemodialysis catheter that was forever sticking from my neck with a thick scarf no matter how hot or humid it was to avoid all the uncomfortable stares and excessive questions. If that wasn't bad enough, I started having seizures during that year and was put in ICU where I was in a coma for the most part and as a result my family expected the worst. By the grace of God, I started to recover and even though I had to learn how to walk again due to the damage the TB meningitis had done to my brain, I recovered and was able to go back to my final year of High School the following year becoming valedictorian.
It was during these uncomfortable years that I was finally able to deal with all the pain and baggage that I was carrying. The lupus led to the doctors denying me the option transplantation even though I had family members who were willing to donate their kidney for my benefit. In 2010 I was able to come off of the TB meningitis medication and in 2011 I was finally two years free of that dreaded lupus disease that ferociously attacked me from the inside out. After a few years of failed attempts at kidney transplantation, I finally got the procedure done on 10 February 2014 with my older sister Amanda graciously donating part of herself to me and giving me a new lease on life. I was able to go back to university in 2015 and start living my life!