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Finding Freedom - Sade Graves' Transplant Story

Finding Freedom - Sade Graves' Transplant Story

By Your Health Staff
Posted: April 4, 2024

9 hours a day for six years.

That’s how long Sade Graves was on dialysis to filter toxins from her body as her kidneys failed.

“I don’t say that dialysis is a restriction of your life, but it is a modification,” said Sade.

19,710 total hours.

821.25 total days.

2.25 total years.

By night, she was a full-time dialysis patient. By day, a postal worker – sometimes working 10 hours before heading home to start her healthcare regimen.

Sade's Journey - Living with Dialysis

Sade was left with about six hours in her day to travel to and from work, buy groceries and shower.

“That was my day. Work became my social life as well as a lifeline for me. It became a lifeline because it allowed me to interact with people,” said Sade.

Sade wasn’t always in a healthcare crisis. When she got out of the Army in 2014, she had a clean bill of health. But a series of stressors in her life, including losing her grandmother, took a harsh toll on her body.

“I knew I was stressed, but I didn’t know that my blood pressure was so high,” said Sade.

Sade easily remembers the exact date she was told her kidneys had shut down from that stress – July 27, 2016.

She was immediately put on dialysis and about nine months later, Sade was listed as needing a transplant.


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Life After Transplant Surgery

Then, on November 5, 2022, one phone call from the Methodist Transplant Institute would change her life forever. Staff members had a kidney donation ready for her. The very next day, Sade went into surgery.

Sade could tell a difference immediately.

“My new kidney woke up the very next day,” said Sade. “The staff members were so kind and patient. If I had any questions they couldn’t answer, they went and found the answer for me. I was nervous about the surgery and my recovery, and the nurses made sure I was comfortable.”

When asked what this transplant means for her, Sade had one word: Freedom.

Freedom to do things most of us take for granted. The top two on her list? Travel and take a bath.

When Sade was on dialysis, she couldn’t submerge the catheter in her abdomen – for fear of an infection. She’s always preferred baths to showers. After her transplant, she was able to take her first tub soak in six years. Sade said that was her first taste of freedom.

Also, she can now visit her brother in Seattle without paying hundreds of fees to check her dialysis machine as additional luggage.

“This transplant is a new life and I just pray that I’m able to tell my testimony to somebody else and it can help them,” said Sade.

If you are interested in becoming a living donor:

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