- A young woman from Cape Town who was diagnosed with the rare lupus disease at the age of nine has opened up about how her condition affects her life
- In addition to suffering from arthritis and joint pain, the teen's kidneys have also failed, and she needs to be on dialysis for up to 11 hours a day
- Loadshedding significantly impacts Aa’ishah Swartz, and although her mom will be a kidney donor, the lack of power could further put her health at risk
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A young lady with the rare lupus disease, residing in Salt River in Cape Town, is significantly affected by loadshedding.
The condition she suffers from causes her immune system to attack her body and organs. This dramatically impacts her life as a 19-year-old, leading her to suffer from kidney failure and various other ailments.
Aa’ishah Swartz now needs to be on dialysis several hours a day to survive, but because of loadshedding, this isn’t always possible.
Speaking to Briefly news, the teen opens up about how her condition has impacted her life as a young woman.
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The Capetonian was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 9
Aa’ishah says that she has suffered from lupus for as long as she can remember, with her condition attacking her body and kidneys and leaving her feeling fatigued a lot of the time:
“I don’t feel like a 19-year-old. I feel like I’m in the body of a 94-year-old because I’m always tired, and I often lose my appetite.”
As a result of lupus, Aa’ishah’s skin is often very dry and fragile, which causes her a lot of pain.
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“My joints pain most of the time. I also have arthritis, which is another side-effect of lupus, so, if you think about it, I have all the ailments of a sickly old person.”
The young lady was set to matriculate from Premier College this year, but due to her ongoing health problems, she will only complete her studies in 2023.
Two years ago, when Aa’ishah was 17, her kidneys failed. The Capetonian now needs to be on dialysis for many hours a day, which has also impacted her quality of life:
“I can no longer go out whenever I want to. I have to work around my dialysis. I also don’t go to school because of it. It doesn’t give me enough time to go anywhere or do anything with friends.”
Loadshedding affects Aa’ishah and her dialysis cycles
Since the young lady’s kidneys have failed, she needs to be on dialysis to survive. Due to loadshedding in South Africa, this is often a struggle, with her machine powered by electricity.
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“When the power cuts out, my machine cuts out and because I missed many dialysis sessions, I became very ill and was hospitalised."
Thankfully, Aa’ishah has a very supportive family who shower her with love and care, with the teenager set to receive a kidney transplant from her mom on 6 September.
The brave lady says that although she is nervous about the transplant, she is hopeful that she will be more active and able to do many of the things her condition prevents her from venturing into now:
“I want to be more active and attend school on the regular, go out, start attending the gym, and live my life as a young person.”
Aa’ishah explains that she is both nervous and excited about the impending transplant but says she is so used to pain, that aspect of the operation does not scare her as much.
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Her mother, Shereen Isaacs, 45, who works as a bookkeeper, was very happy to help her daughter and said:
“She’s my baby, and this is the best thing I can do to help her. It will prolong her life and make things easier. Hopefully, after the transplant, she won’t have to do dialysis anymore.”
Although Aa’ishah will always have lupus, she is hopeful that the new kidney will improve her life.
Due to the medical costs incurred for her health needs and operation, a crowdfunding page was started on BackaBuddy, and anyone who would like to donate can access the link here.
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Source: Briefly News