Photo Contest

LaVise McCray

Photo Description

1 Kidney Strong

My Story

My name is LaVise. I am a 44-year-old transplant survivor. I would like to share my journey of organ transplantation in hopes of inspiring others to be a symbol of hope and a donor hero.
I am a graduate of Caldwell University and a retired Jersey City Public School teacher. My faith journey has had many triumphs and many challenges. I was diagnosed with End Renal Stage Disease in June of 2015. I entered my new reality with a great attitude and was determined to fight and do my best to never give up . It took about 6 weeks for my body to get adjusted to being on dialysis. I decided that the best thing for me to do was to return to work as a special education teacher and complete my dialysis treatments at night. Everything had been positive and was going really well for about seven months. My first fistula got infected but I was determined to continue my fight. My nephrologist suggested that I go to Hackensack University Medical Center for a transplant evaluation. I have to say that had to be one of the best decisions I made for myself . After testing I was accepted on the list. A few months passed and my second fistula ruptured and it’s truly a miracle that I am here today. After 3 years, I realized the best decision for me was to retire on disability, because I could no longer do my job to the best of my ability. I was scheduled for surgery and there was a complication. I developed Steel Syndrome, and they had to cut off access to the fistula because I was losing the function of my right hand, and it wasn’t expected that I would recover from it. I was adamant about getting my hand back. I worked really hard for three months in therapy and regained full function of my right hand. During this time I have been back-and-forth to my care team at Hackensack and they noticed that my demeanor had changed so they recommended that I started counseling. The counselling helped me get my fire back to continue to fight. I’ve had an amazing support system from the very beginning and not only did I have family and friends, but I have people that didn’t even know who I am, but they knew my story supported me. I have amazing medical care teams at HUMC and New Jersey Kidney Care..
In July 2022 things took a drastic turn, I stopped walking on July 1. I went to rehab and came home on July 24. Hours after coming home, I had to be rushed to the hospital. Not only did I have Covid but I had what they expected to be internal bleeding. I had to have emergency surgery and I was in the ICU for three days. After this I decided to return home. A week later I developed sepsis. My doctor said I needed to give my body time to heal and they will try to put me back on peritoneal dialysis so I returned to hemodialysis. In November 2022, I had the surgery to restart peritoneal dialysis twice and both were unsuccessful. At this point, I knew that I needed to speak with the Transplant office at Hackensack to see what my next steps were for me. By this time my nephrologist Dr. Manandhar had informed me that transplantation would be my only option. My Dialysis team was in constant contact with the surgeon and nephrologist at Hackensack University Medical Center. In February 2023 I met with Dr. Michael J. Goldstein and I explained to him what had been going on with me. He explained to me that it is a very complex situation, but he believes that it could be done as long as I was willing. After looking at some medical records I was placed on a medically necessary transplant list. I was placed in this category on Monday March 20, 2023. On Tuesday the Dialysis access failed on Wednesday. It was replaced, and for the next two days I received dialysis treatment. Those last three days were very difficult for me and I knew I was getting weaker and weaker. On Friday. I have been home all day resting and my phone rings at 6:30 on Friday night and the caller says, “Hi! LaVise are you ready? I said yes I’m ready, but I had no clue at first what they were talking about. The next words change my life forever. My transplant coordinator said, “It’s time your kidney is ready.” I knew going into the surgery that there would be complications, but my faith was strong enough, and I had so many people praying for me I knew that God’s protection covered me. On March 25, 2023 I was successfully transplanted. Over the past few months, I have become a NJ Sharing Network volunteer, dialysis mentor for Quality Insights, a Champion Ambassador for Transplantlyfe Forum .
In sharing my journey, I hope I have inspired you to never lose hope and try to live with a resilient attitude
My name is LaVise. I am a 44-year-old transplant survivor. I would like to share my journey of organ transplantation in hopes of inspiring others to be a symbol of hope and a donor hero.
I am a graduate of Caldwell University and a retired Jersey City Public School teacher. My faith journey has had many triumphs and many challenges. I was diagnosed with End Renal Stage Disease in June of 2015. I entered my new reality with a great attitude and was determined to fight and do my best to never give up . It took about 6 weeks for my body to get adjusted to being on dialysis. I decided that the best thing for me to do was to return to work as a special education teacher and complete my dialysis treatments at night. Everything had been positive and was going really well for about seven months. My first fistula got infected but I was determined to continue my fight. My nephrologist suggested that I go to Hackensack University Medical Center for a transplant evaluation. I have to say that had to be one of the best decisions I made for myself . After testing I was accepted on the list. A few months passed and my second fistula ruptured and it’s truly a miracle that I am here today. After 3 years, I realized the best decision for me was to retire on disability, because I could no longer do my job to the best of my ability. I was scheduled for surgery and there was a complication. I developed Steel Syndrome, and they had to cut off access to the fistula because I was losing the function of my right hand, and it wasn’t expected that I would recover from it. I was adamant about getting my hand back. I worked really hard for three months in therapy and regained full function of my right hand. During this time I have been back-and-forth to my care team at Hackensack and they noticed that my demeanor had changed so they recommended that I started counseling. The counselling helped me get my fire back to continue to fight. I’ve had an amazing support system from the very beginning and not only did I have family and friends, but I have people that didn’t even know who I am, but they knew my story supported me. I have amazing medical care teams at HUMC and New Jersey Kidney Care..
In July 2022 things took a drastic turn, I stopped walking on July 1. I went to rehab and came home on July 24. Hours after coming home, I had to be rushed to the hospital. Not only did I have Covid but I had what they expected to be internal bleeding. I had to have emergency surgery and I was in the ICU for three days. After this I decided to return home. A week later I developed sepsis. My doctor said I needed to give my body time to heal and they will try to put me back on peritoneal dialysis so I returned to hemodialysis. In November 2022, I had the surgery to restart peritoneal dialysis twice and both were unsuccessful. At this point, I knew that I needed to speak with the Transplant office at Hackensack to see what my next steps were for me. By this time my nephrologist Dr. Manandhar had informed me that transplantation would be my only option. My Dialysis team was in constant contact with the surgeon and nephrologist at Hackensack University Medical Center. In February 2023 I met with Dr. Michael J. Goldstein and I explained to him what had been going on with me. He explained to me that it is a very complex situation, but he believes that it could be done as long as I was willing. After looking at some medical records I was placed on a medically necessary transplant list. I was placed in this category on Monday March 20, 2023. On Tuesday the Dialysis access failed on Wednesday. It was replaced, and for the next two days I received dialysis treatment. Those last three days were very difficult for me and I knew I was getting weaker and weaker. On Friday. I have been home all day resting and my phone rings at 6:30 on Friday night and the caller says, “Hi! LaVise are you ready? I said yes I’m ready, but I had no clue at first what they were talking about. The next words change my life forever. My transplant coordinator said, “It’s time your kidney is ready.” I knew going into the surgery that there would be complications, but my faith was strong enough, and I had so many people praying for me I knew that God’s protection covered me. On March 25, 2023 I was successfully transplanted. Over the past few months, I have become a NJ Sharing Network volunteer, dialysis mentor for Quality Insights, a Champion Ambassador for Transplantlyfe Forum .
In sharing my journey, I hope I have inspired you to never lose hope and try to live with a resilient attitude

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