Letters to the Editor

Lessons learned on kidney transplants that may help you

I’d like to respond to your recent article about battling kidney failure.

It’s a tough, scary road. I have had two kidney transplants in the past five years and was on dialysis for two years prior to that. But I led a full and active life on dialysis, even traveling. Ideal, of course not; but doable in many cases. I also pushed myself to walk, control my weight and keep my mind active.

My first kidney transplant failed after 10 months; the second has taken and I’ve been healthy since. Both kidneys were from deceased organ donors.

I wish to share knowledge I’ve gained through the process.

When your failing kidneys have 20 percent usage left, you can apply for and get on multiple kidney transplant lists as long as it’s only one per state. You absolutely do not need to wait to be on dialysis to get on a list.

I got on a transplant list 10 months before I needed dialysis, so I was going “up the list” before dialysis. I got on three lists: Tampa General Hospital in Florida (where I got both kidneys), Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and the Medical University of South Carolina Health in Charleston (and that’s the order of my preferences).

Traveling to various hospitals is no fun and it takes about two days to complete testing, but then you’re on multiple lists, which could mean multiple chances. It should take no more then eight weeks to get on any list.

I hope this helps.

Joan Scully

Hilton Head Island

A resolution we all can keep

In late afternoon on New Year’s Eve, I was doing my daily 3-mile walk along Sgt. Jasper Boulevard in Sun City North. The sun was beginning to set, and conditions were just right — the low cloud cover perfect for a picturesque late-season, color-rich close of day.

I was sitting on a bench, when two people came by, perhaps a mother and a young girl about 9 years old. They stopped, and asked if I were OK — not unusual as I am 83 years old. I replied that I was just watching the day gently closing down.

The young girl turned around and we, together, watched the last bits of color bid goodbye. The young girl then turned to me smiling and said, “Thank you, sir. That was so nice that you let me share such a pretty sky with you” as she and her companion walked on.

I thought how civil her demeanor was and how lovely a smile she had. I said to myself, “Well, wouldn’t that make a wonderful New Year’s resolution for one to embrace for the new year?”

Yep, what a charming end to the old year and what a simple but wonderful way to start a new year. “Civility and a smile.” I can keep that resolution. It’s a good start.

“She sweeps with many-colored brooms,

And leaves the shreds behind;

Oh, housewife in the evening west,

come back and dust the pond!

You dropped a purple raveling in,

You dropped an amber thread;

And now you’ve littered all the East

With duds of emerald!

And still she plies her spotted brooms,

And still the aprons fly,

Till brooms fade softly into stars —

And then I come away.”

— Emily Dickinson

Alex Kasten


A way to fix Lowcountry I-95 backups

With all the continued backups on Interstate 95 south and northbound near Exits 8 and 5, I am surprised South Carolina traffic engineers have not yet figured a way to ease the congestion.

If SCDOT denies authority for traffic issues on I-95, why have they not notified federal transportation officials of the terrible traffic conditions?

I would like to suggest a repair that many of our northern friends are familiar with. The problem has been resolved and eases traffic flow there.

Perhaps my suggestion may cause issues with financing, but what happens is this: The on ramps have traffic lights. That’s right. A green light and a red light. No yellow. Green means proceed. Red means stop. Electronic monitors placed on the roadway signal the red and green lights when to allow a vehicle to enter the interstate. A cop is also there occasionally to ensure no one runs the red light.

The backups, if any, occur at the on ramp, not the interstate.

Until South Carolina widens I-95, those who use the interstate will continue to suffer through continuous traffic jams. I hope someone is reading ...

Dale Pocian


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