By writer to www.bostonherald.com
When Maureen Zuzevich of Carver was all of a sudden hit with a wave of nausea, extreme vomiting and fatigue whereas driving house from a day of labor at a blood drive in Could 2020, she thought she had coronavirus.
She informed her husband, “You higher not come close to me. I believe I’ve COVID.”
Zuzevich was severely ailing for a number of days bought examined for coronavirus a number of occasions. All of them got here again detrimental.
A recruitment program supervisor for the Kraft Household Blood Donor Middle, she referred to as out of labor sick for the primary time ever, having by no means skilled any main well being points in her life.
“I stored considering I used to be very fatigued. I’ve by no means been sick in my life, although, I don’t even take an aspirin,” Zuzevich informed the Herald.
When signs didn’t enhance, she lastly went to the emergency room at Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital the place she came upon she was in stage 5 kidney failure and wanted aggressive remedy instantly, which included a blood plasma transfusion.
Zuzevich has spent the previous 25 years recruiting blood and platelet donors — however all of a sudden discovered herself a affected person. She was greeted by the acquainted faces of her coworkers who helped facilitate the plasma transfusion she so desperately wanted.
When Zuzevich noticed the cloudy, brown blood plasma coming from her physique, she instantly acknowledged it seemed a lot completely different from the wholesome, yellow plasma donations she had seen for years.
“I stated to the physician, ‘I’m full of poisons, aren’t I?” Zuzevich stated. “At that time I spotted how sick I actually was … I’ve been round blood for years and I do know what wholesome plasma seems like and I knew I wasn’t good.”
Zuzevich stayed within the hospital for 3 weeks, receiving transfusions and dialysis whereas specialists found the basis explanation for her sickness.
She had two extraordinarily uncommon, life-threatening autoimmune issues referred to as anti-glomerular basement membrane illness and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies vasculitis.
The primary dysfunction causes the immune system to mistakenly assault wholesome kidney tissue, whereas the opposite causes white blood cells to assault small blood vessels within the physique and injury them.
“My life modified in a minute,” Zuzevich stated. “I couldn’t consider it.”
After her hospital keep, Zuzevich returned to work whereas additionally going to the hospital for dialysis three days per week for 4 hours at a time. She stated her religion and the assist from her church gave her energy to push by way of.
“I’ve been blessed and if that is what God has given me, I’ll take it. That’s how I felt,” Zuzevich stated.
However dialysis quickly “beat the life” out of Zuzevich and brought on her to really feel very ailing. So a couple of 12 months in the past she bought off dialysis and in the present day she’s off all main medicines. She has to get chemotherapy each 5 months, and can ultimately want a kidney transplant, however feels nicely and resides a wholesome life.
“I really feel good, I really feel like myself. It took lots within the final 12 months for me to really say that. I used to be completely in denial once I bought sick,” Zuzevich stated.
The significance of blood donation has been amplified for Zuzevich, who stated the irony of the function reversal along with her job was “probably the most eye-opening a part of the entire thing.”
She is grateful to the donors that helped save her life and encourages others to donate if they’re in a position, as blood provide is at present at its lowest since 2015, in line with the American Crimson Cross.
To donate complete blood or plasma on the Kraft Middle, schedule an appointment online, e-mail BloodDonor@companions.org or name 617-632-3206. Stroll-ins are additionally welcome.
— to www.bostonherald.com