Wednesday, February 8, 2012

'Just keep him alive until medical science catches up'

WWLTV New Orleans | Doug Mouton

ABITA SPRINGS, La. -- A medical breakthrough is making a normal life possible for a Northshore teenage with a rare disease. Seventeen-year-old Christian Billingsley has Atypical Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome, which is usually referred to as aHUS.

For now, Christian's young life is dominated by kidney dialysis. An in-home dialysis unit sits permanently in his bedroom. Christian is hooked to the unit six days a week, for three to four hours at a sitting.

"It's painful getting on, and sometimes, because of the way fluid comes off your body I can get cramps while I'm on it," Christian Billingsley said. "That can be painful too."

For a high school sophomore, daily dialysis makes having a normal social life virtually impossible. Often, Christian gets home from school, starts homework, gets on the dialysis machine, and by the time he's finished with dialysis, it's time for bed. As inconvenient as it is, that dialysis machine is literally keeping him alive.

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