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What is Patient2Patient?

Patient2Patient is a free support service where patients diagnosed with E.S.R.F. can discuss their condition, feelings and treatment with fellow patients who have already been through the experience. A patient fully involved in the process guarantees a better outcome. Our goal is to help improve the lives of fellow patients. To help patients and their families cope after diagnosis and face their treatment with a positive attitude. Patient2Patient Shared Experiences is a valuable resource for doctors, nurses, counsellors, and patients. Knowledge empowers the patient, it’s not knowing that inhibits you.

patient on dialysis machine

The objective of the service is to assist patients with the many questions they have when diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. Many years ago, I had the idea of a Patient-to-Patient service, which would enable people of all ages with renal failure to share their experiences with each other. The best advice I received over the years was from patients themselves. Being diagnosed with kidney failure will obviously affect you physically but it can also impact on your mental health. You may go through a range of different emotions including anger, fear, depression, anxiety, confusion, frustration and a sense of helplessness. The good news is that all of the emotions mentioned are normal. Remember that knowledge is power. There is a wealth of knowledge out there that you can access from your doctors, who specialise in this condition, Also your fellow patients who can explain,the medical terms that you will now hear from your medical team. Kidney failure is a serious illness but it is important to believe that is not the end of the world. Don’t let renal failure take over your life, take control of it. Everybody has a mountain to climb - But you dont have to climb it alone.

While no two patients’ reaction and acceptance of their diagnosis is the same, I feel the best way for any person to approach this illness is to have a P.M.A - that is a Positive Mental Attitude. I know that this is not easy and it will take time for you to adjust to the changes that you have to make in your life. Together we can make a difference. In my own case I was a thirty-year-old married man with a five-year-old daughter and my wife was pregnant with our second child. I was referred to a hospital for tests to determine the cause of high blood pressure. The results of a simple blood test revealed that I was in ESRF (End Stage Renal Failure).

Image of people holding hands When I asked what this meant the doctor informed me that my kidneys were not working and that I would need to go on dialysis and that following this I would be placed on the transplant list. I walked from the hospital with two words ringing in my ears - Dialysis and Transplant - words that were new to me. I still did not understand what either of these words fully meant and other than my doctors who had little time- there was no one to answer my questions. It was hard at first but my family and I decided that we would get through this. Twenty years have passed and I am almost eighteen years transplanted. Thirteen years ago we had our third child. Our son knows that I had been sick for a number of years before he was born, He also knows that its thanks to some wonderful family for donating their loved ones organs that I am here today. After my transplant life returned to normal. Yes, being told you have kidney failure is tough and yes, you have to make changes to your life but with the right attitude you can get through it. I want to share my experiences with you and someday you can pass your experience on to other patients. Together, the Patient-to-Patient service will make life just that little bit easier for our fellow patients. Reach out for the help that is here for you. Contact the Patient-to-Patient Service. We’ve been there. We know the road you are about to travel. Reach out. We can help.

Michael Mangan Patient Co-ordinator

Patient Co-ordinator: Mr Michael Mangan.
michael@p2pse.ie