Shocked by diagnosis, Fayette woman just wants her life back

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For the majority of her life, Fayetteville’s Tamarah Currie lived her life to the fullest. She worked, tried to eat well, exercised and spent quality time with her family on vacations to the Gulf Coast.

But all that changed in 2009, when she went in for a physical.

“I was told that I should go see a kidney doctor,” she said.

The verdict was devastating.

“I was diagnosed with kidney failure. To say this diagnosis truly knocked me off of my feet is an understatement. At the time I was a career educator who worked out on a regular basis, a very health conscious person and an active wife/mother. I devoted more than 20 years as an educator. I truly loved being able to make a positive mark on society through my work with children,” she said.

Before the diagnosis, she had no idea that her kidneys were failing.

“By the time I was diagnosed, my kidneys were only working at 50 percent. After a couple of years of second opinions, many doctor visits and constant poking/prodding … my kidneys functioning dropped to 20 percent. With such a low level of functioning, I was able to get evaluated and placed on the transplant list at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta,” she said.

But the wait list can be five years or more from a deceased donor, and Currie is hoping that she can receive a donation from a live donor.

Every night, she endures nine hours of peritoneal dialysis and her kidney function has dropped to less than 3 percent. Her life is now spent mostly in reflection, because of her declining health.

“I spend most of my days in bed. Doing very simple things like running to the grocery store, going to the kitchen for a cool drink or checking the mailbox are monstrous tasks now. The independent person I once was sadly no longer exists. I have to depend on others to drive me to doctor appointments, prepare my family’s meals and other household chores. Also, I am now absent from many family outings and that really breaks my heart because of my very low levels of energy and lack of strength,” she said.

Currie has two children and a husband who help her out, but she still is eager to get back to her life before the diagnosis.

“My family and I used to do so many awesome things together before my illness. I often sit and think about our fishing in the Gulf of Mexico … that’s the only place I could ever catch something or watching the sunset while the dolphins swam by, or attending my children’s sporting events and being their number one fan,” she said.

Currie is hopeful that someone will step forward and help restore her former life. She said interested resident should contact Piedmont Hospital living donor coordinator Leanne Whitehead at Piedmont Hospital at 404-605-4605. A comprehensive screening of the possible donor is done, and Currie said all costs are covered by her insurance. For those in her same situation and in a grimmer financial situation, Currie has a wish.

“I would love for people to consider making donations of time, goods, or monetary means to the American Kidney Fund because they provide support to patients who may need support with transportation to dialysis, insurance premiums and other household necessities,” she said.

If a living donor does come through for Currie, her fondest wish is to be able to get back to work and help her family, who has been there for her every need.

“It is my prayer that someone will be willing to be my living donor and ultimately save my life so that I can once again be the outgoing wife and mother I used to be. Are you willing to try to save my life by being a donor?”