CLEVELAND — In sickness and in health.
Newlyweds Evan and Jenna Coaker have each been battling kidney failures for as long as they can remember.
For Evan, the condition was inherited.
Evan says, “I was 9, my brother got sick in 1971 and later passed away.”
“I’ve been diabetic since I was age 5, that would be Type 1,” said Jenna.
Now in their 50s, the couple met at a kidney disease patient support group and married in September of last year, after they both underwent failed transplants.
Getting to weekly, hours-long dialysis treatments had been taking a toll on their lifestyles.
That is, until they discovered an overnight dialysis option they could both do….together.
Evan said, “It’s a great idea to do it as a couple. Instead of having to drive to two different sessions, we’re both on the same shift so we just have one trip there and one trip back.”
Patients receiving nocturnal or overnight dialysis receive about seven hours of treatment, three times a week, compared to day patients who receive about four hours.
During the sessions, Evan and Jenna are hooked up to dialysis machines which filter their blood, the job their failed kidneys are supposed to do.
Doctor Evamaria Anvari with the Cleveland Clinic says there is long-term evidence that nocturnal dialysis is a lot easier on the patient.
Dr. Anvari adds, “A lot of patients just want to do a short treatment and finish up. Other patients still want to be active — they want to work; they want to be active in their society.”
Improving their quality of life is the ultimate goal for the Coakers, who say they both still have their bad days.
But now, the good outweighs the bad.
“Difficult days, sometimes you don’t feel well; it’s understood intuitively because she’s been going through the same things.”