By Jennifer L. Warren
WAPPINGERS FALLS – Two years ago Lissette Ramos could not walk or breathe without assistance. Today, she is thriving on multiple levels. It’s all due to a piece of equipment she has lovingly named “Elvis.”
The Home Hemo Dialysis Machine enabled her to provide critical treatments in the privacy of her own home. She not only saves countless hours commuting, but actually has more productive and efficient treatments using her home machine.
“This machine is so much gentler on the body than in-center dialysis,” explained Ramos, a patient advocate for the company Fresenius Nxstage. “It’s so easy; if you can dress yourself, you can do it.” She added, “I used to be so drained when I went to a center to get it done, leaving my home very early and not getting home until the afternoon, and then not being able to get anything done with no energy left at all.”
Now, an event planner, who is active in her ministry as well as the Boy Scouts, Ramos is leading a full, productive life. In fact, the self-proclaimed “foodie” is quick to point out how she can even cook and eat one of her all-time favorite dishes, the “real gooey kind of macaroni and cheese.”
Like Ramos, those needing dialysis will now have yet another local option to be trained in the home procedure as well as take full advantage of all of its vital benefits. Tuesday, Fresenius Kidney Care officially opened its doors to the public. Another facility already exists in Fishkill. The paramount importance of this new location cannot be overstated enough, as it will literally save lives.
“To be able to offer this service for the first time in Wappingers Falls is just such a great opportunity; we can get people trained and involved with their own home healthcare,” said Lane McCarthy, Fresenius Kidney Care Regional Vice President. “Medicare pays for everything and the patients feel better, having a better quality of life, as the treatments are more gradual.”
In addition to the thorough six week training participants receive, Fresenius is on call 24-7, and should a person using their equipment be traveling, they will ship him/her any needed supplies.
“It’s just an absolutely wonderful thing,” said a visibly appreciative Ramos about her entire experience with the company and their offerings and was on hand at the Grand Opening event. “I’m just so very excited to be here tonight to be able to talk to people about it, as it saved my life, not only physically, but psychologically and emotionally.”
Several local dignitaries spoke at Tuesday’s reception, one capped off by a ribbon cutting.
Among those offering words was Rabbi Borenstein of Temple Chabad of Mid-Hudson Valley, who praised the new facility for the array of positives it brings to the area, above all else: Saving lives.
“Life and having life takes precedence,” said Rabbi Borenstein. “We have an obligation to make this world a better place, and I just feel so humbled being here; there are no words.”
Perhaps McCarthy best encapsulated what this new facility most meant to so many who were on hand as well as the countless people who will be using it.
“The more educated patients are, the more empowered they will be,” said McCarthy. “That will come from being their, being able to take responsibility for their own care, and that’s just what will be happening here.”