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Princess Eugenie Praised Selena Gomez for Showing Off Her Kidney Transplant Scar on Instagram

Photo credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage; Robert Kamau/GC Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage; Robert Kamau/GC Images – Getty Images


At her wedding on October 12, 2018, Princess Eugenie purposefully showed off her scoliosis-surgery scars in a low-backed dress designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos. Eugenie, who is now expecting her first child, had an eight-hour surgery for her scoliosis when she was 12.

On Friday, Eugenie posted to praise Selena Gomez for sharing her kidney transplant scar on Instagram. “I thought this was super cool of @selenagomez to show she’s confident of who she is and what she went through after finding it difficult to show her scar,” Eugenie wrote on her Instagram story.

Photo credit: Selena Gomez - Instagram
Photo credit: Selena Gomez – Instagram

On September 24, Gomez posted a photo of herself in a La’Mariette swimsuit in which she showed off her scar from her kidney transplant in 2017. She posted the following as a caption and addressed La’Mariette’s Theresa Marie Mingus.

“When I got my kidney transplant, I remember it being very difficult at first showing my scar,” she wrote. I didn’t want it to be in photos, so I wore things that would cover it up. Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through…and I’m proud of that. T – Congratulations on what you’re doing for women, launching @lamariette whose message is just that…all bodies are beautiful.”

Eugenie spoke out about her surgery and how it changed her life—and can do the same for others.

“Children can look at me now and know that the operation works,” Eugenie wrote in a statement for the website for Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, where she had the surgery. “I’m living proof of the ways in which the hospital can change people’s lives.”

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Nurse who traveled to treat COVID-19 patients donates her kidney to toddler

Taylor Pikkarainen, a traveling nurse, spent over two months this spring on assignment in New Jersey helping to save the lives of patients with COVID-19.

Pikkarainen, 27, then returned to her home state of Minnesota to save the life of a young boy by donating her kidney.

“It just feels really great that he’s healthy and happy,” Pikkarainen told “Good Morning America” of Bodie, who will turn 2 in December. “It’s amazing and I’m very, very grateful.”

PHOTO: Taylor Pikkarainen, 27, poses with Bodie Hall, 20 months, to whom she donated a kidney.

Taylor Pikkarainen, 27, poses with Bodie Hall, 20 months, to whom she donated a kidney.

Taylor Pikkarainen, 27, poses with Bodie Hall, 20 months, to whom she donated a kidney.

Pikkarainen found out about Bodie’s need for a kidney earlier this year through her sister-in-law, who is a close friend of Bodie’s mom, Gloria Hall.

Bodie was born with congenital nephrotic syndrome, a life-threatening condition that causes your body to discharge too much protein in urine and ultimately progresses to kidney failure, according to M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, where he underwent the transplant in July.

One of Bodie’s four older siblings also has the syndrome and required a kidney transplant five years ago; Hall was the donor. Because Hall had already donated a kidney and her husband, Bodie’s father, was not a match for their son, the family put out a plea for a kidney donor.

Once Pikkarainen heard about the need, she knew almost immediately she wanted to be Bodie’s donor.

“I was sitting there and just quickly looked up the side effects for me as a donor, for giving up a kidney,” she said. “There’s always a risk with surgery but there was no increased risk for kidney disease or kidney failure, having one kidney versus two.”

“And within half an hour I was signing up,” she continued.

Hall, who lives in a town neighboring Pikkarainen, said she remembers the exact moment she received a call “out of the blue” in February that her son finally had a kidney donor.

“I guess the biggest feeling was … of relief because it really was the thing hanging over our heads,” said Hall, who did not know at the time that Pikkarainen was the donor. “We knew it was the point where he needed to have the surgery and we obviously couldn’t have the surgery without a kidney donor.”

Bodie spent one month in the hospital after his birth and has had to undergo frequent infusions to help boost his kidney function. He has also relied on a feeding tube since the age of seven months, according to Hall.

PHOTO: Bodie Hall interacts with nurses while hospitalized for a kidney transplant in Minnesota.

Bodie Hall interacts with nurses while hospitalized for a kidney transplant in Minnesota.

Bodie Hall interacts with nurses while hospitalized for a kidney transplant in Minnesota.

Pikkarainen said she thought about remaining anonymous as Bodie’s donor, but then decided to tell the Halls by sending a letter and a stuffed animal for Bodie.

She also met Bodie in person for the first time a few days before the transplant,

Former nurse and patient advocate is looking for a kidney. Now the mother of 4 has to advocate for herself

CHICAGO — Registered nurse Christine Hernandez was just entering her 40s when she asked her doctors about her kidney function.

a person sitting on a table: Christine Hernandez preps herself for dialysis at her home Sept. 18, 2020, in Chicago, Ill. Hernandez, a registered nurse, is suffering from stage 5 kidney failure. She has set up her sunroom as a "hemo center," where she performs all of the duties necessary for her dialysis.

© Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Christine Hernandez preps herself for dialysis at her home Sept. 18, 2020, in Chicago, Ill. Hernandez, a registered nurse, is suffering from stage 5 kidney failure. She has set up her sunroom as a “hemo center,” where she performs all of the duties necessary for her dialysis.

Knowing she had two brothers with kidney disease, she asked her primary care physician for a referral to a nephrologist.

Hernandez recalls her doctor saying that her kidney lab results were good, and there was no reason she should see a nephrologist. But Hernandez, a Chicago mother of four, said she had a feeling she had kidney disease too.

The referral was given, and the nephrologist biopsied her kidneys in 2016. Her kidneys were operating at only 30% of capacity, and that was without having symptoms, she said.

“I was just flabbergasted,” she said. “I cried. All these things went through my head really fast: I was like, ‘I have little kids. What’s going to happen to them? I’m a nurse; I’m supposed to help people. What’s going to happen to my career?’ I was in fight or flight mode — trying to figure out how could I fix it because in the medical field you could fix everything, right?

“Well, you can fix everything but a kidney. I asked my nephrologist if we can put a stent inside my kidney to open up, so it could get blood flow through it, and he says it’s too late for that.”

Hernandez was diagnosed with medullary cystic kidney disease, an inherited condition that ends in kidney failure. In Hernandez’s case, the condition resulted in her arteries atrophying. Her doctor recommended going on a strict diet and seeing a nephrologist often. But eventually she would need dialysis and a transplant. In a matter of four years, Hernandez says her condition has progressed pretty fast. She went from 10-hour days advocating for patients in hospitals to spending almost eight hours a day four days a week preparing, using and breaking down her home hemodialysis device, which purifies her blood. She’s on three different regional transplant lists around the country and hopes to add more. She’s also seeking a donor on her own via Facebook. Her family’s history of kidney disease prevents a relative from donating, she said.

“I’m just fighting for my life,” Hernandez said. “I’m trying to get my life back and live for my kids and go back to nursing, believe it or not. A lot of nurses are like, ‘Oh, with your condition, nurses would retire.’ But I’m not your average nurse. I want to go back and pay it forward; I want to help people.”

Hernandez, who worked with high-risk moms and babies at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and in the neonatal intensive care unit at Mount Sinai Hospital, will tell her story to a virtual audience Oct.

Precision medicine uses multiomic details to battle kidney disease

September 10, 2020

6 min read


Bansal, Eadon, Jones-Smith, Kiryluk, and Sharma report no relevant financial disclosures.

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The value of precision medicine has been shown with the identification of the genetic causes of tumors that differ among patients. Applied to nephrology, precision medicine can offer an earlier look at the potential risk for kidney disease.

“Precision medicine is a personalized approach to disease management of the patient … The goal is to have the right dose, delivered at the right time, for the right patient,” according to Shweta Bansal, MD, an associate professor of nephrology at the University of Texas-San Antonio School of Medicine. “It is not about one approach that fits all patients. It must be tailored.”

The treatment regimen is the last step in precision medicine, Bansal said. The work begins with the detection of the origins of disease through genomics.

“[NIH director] Francis Collins said it most straightforward. Precision medicine is the application of prevention and treatment strategies that take individual variability into account,” Michael Eadon, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the divisions of nephrology and clinical pharmacology at Indiana University School of Medicine, told Nephrology News & Issues. “There has always been an overarching connotation that genomic information, either from your genome or downstream applications like gene expression, would be integrated into evidence-based medicine.”

Kumar Sharma, MD, chief of nephrology and professor of medicine at the University of Texas-San Antonio, said research at the Center for Renal Precision Medicine will reveal the likelihood of chronic kidney disease early in high-risk individuals.

Source: Center for Renal Precision Medicine.

Genomic testing

Two examples of the application of genomics to detect the risk of end-stage kidney disease is research on the efficacy of the drug tolvaptan for patients with autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and the identification of risk variants in the apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene that can lead to kidney disease.

In a study in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, David J. Friedman, MD, and colleagues wrote that many types of severe kidney disease are higher in Black patients than in other patient groups. That disparity is attributed to genetic variants in the apoL1 (APOL1) gene found only in individuals with recent African ancestry, the authors wrote. “These variants greatly increase rates of hypertension-associated ESKD, [focal segmental glomerulosclerosis] FSGS, HIV-associated nephropathy, and other forms of nondiabetic kidney disease.”

Friedman and colleagues said the discovery of the APOL1 risk variants has led to discussions about incorporating genetic testing in the screening process for living kidney donors. Those with the APOL1 genomic makeup could pass

Acute Kidney Injury in COVID-19 Varies, But It Is Deadly

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

The incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) among patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in China was significantly lower than for similar patients in the United States, a new retrospective study from Wuhan indicates.

However, mortality among patients who do develop AKI following COVID-19 infection — especially if they require dialysis — is much higher in both regions than it is for patients who do not sustain kidney damage, this and other studies consistently show.

In an editorial accompanying the Wuhan study, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Edward Siew, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Bethany Birkelo, DO, Veterans Affairs, Nashville, Tennessee, say the Chinese researchers should “be commended” for their contribution to the literature. “The extraction and analysis of data under challenging conditions with several clinical and logistical unknowns are laudable,” they write.

Yet, they add, “Although the findings add important data to the existing knowledge on COVID-19–associated AKI, important knowledge gaps remain.”

“Among these are the need to better understand the factors underpinning individual differences in the risk for AKI. The incidence of AKI in this study was one fifth of that observed in more recent studies of hospitalized patients from Western countries,” they comment.

Do Age, Presence of Comorbidities Explain the Differences?

Digging down, it would appear that age and the presence of comorbidities explain a large part of the variance in AKI incidence rates.

In the group of 1392 COVID-19–infected patients admitted to a tertiary teaching hospital in Wuhan between January 18 and February 28, 2020, only 7% developed AKI during their hospital stay. That said, 72% of patients who developed AKI died in hospital. 

In contrast, among hospitalized patients who did not develop AKI, the mortality rate was only 14%, note Yichun Cheng, MD, of Tongji Hospital, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, and colleagues in their article published online September 22 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

“Acute kidney injury is a common, serious complication in critically ill patients that is associated with increased mortality, longer hospital stay, and higher medical costs,” the Chinese investigators point out.

Meanwhile, US researchers have updated a prior analysis in which the incidence of AKI was 36.6% among approximately 5500 patients admitted to 13 New York hospitals between March 1 and April 5, 2020, as reported by Medscape Medical News.

At the time of publication, 40% of these patients were still in hospital, “so we didn’t know what happened to them,” second author of the new paper, Jamie Hirsch, MD, told Medscape Medical News.

The incidence of AKI of 39.9% in the larger cohort of 9657 hospitalized patients is similar to the earlier figure. The updated analysis was published online September 19 by Jia H. Ng, MD, MSCE, of the Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Great Neck, New York City, and colleagues in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases