Former Sentinel reporter hopeful despite setbacks

Hanford Sentinel | Seth Nidever

The irony is not lost on Barbara Buddecke-Swarm. Five years ago, she was the reporter doing stories about kids visiting patients in rest homes.

Fast-forward to Christmas 2011. Now the children were coming in to visit her in a Gonzales, La. nursing home.

"It's a hard pill to swallow, but it's one I have to take," she said. "I put my game face on every morning."

For the former Sentinel features writer, life has taken a hard 180-degree turn. The reason? Kidney failure, which has put Swarm, 49, on dialysis three days a week, forced her to live in a critical care nursing home and made her a frail 60 pounds lighter than normal while she waits like thousands of others for the donation of a kidney. Recent photos of her, looking gaunt and in a hospital gown, are a stark departure from those of her as a healthy, busy reporter.
Read more: