$1/2m kidney transplant on the cards
27-year-old gospel artist tells of his trials
He has to live on a strict diet free of lactose and low in sodium, potassium, protein and phosphorus; and must go to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital twice a week and be hooked up to a dialysis machine.
To say that 27-year-old Nayan Warrington, one of this country’s bright sparks in the gospel music ministry, has a kidney problem would be the understatement of the year. Nayan, who is pursuing a degree in psychology with sociology at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, in fact, needs a kidney transplant.
Having discovered he had a kidney disease back in 2005, the level of this Christian young man kidneys’ functioning has generally declined since then, dropping to just below ten per cent in June this year.
“In 2005 I had some headaches. Actually, one of my aunts took my blood pressure and it was really high. We found it alarming that it would be that high. So, we went to the doctor, my family’s physician and we found out that I had a protein leak in my urine. That was in 2005,” the emerging gospel artist told Barbados TODAY this afternoon during an interview at his St James residence.
In further tracing the history of his illness, he noted that a number of tests that followed revealed he was suffering from a kidney disease known as FSGS (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis), which basically means a scarring of the filtering system of the kidneys, resulting in their malfunctioning. The kidneys are responsible for filtering fluids, minerals and waste products from the blood.
“In 2005, I have been pretty good when I was doing CXCs. Throuhout the years . . . 2006, 2007, 2008, I was doing pretty good . . . 2009. In 2010 it shows little signs of here and there, but then in 2011, I had a traumatic experience in the States while I was on vacation,” Nayan remembered. He said he became badly dehydrated.
“What happened was that the doctors over there found it really alarming at what was happeing with me. They sent me for a different test. They sent me to a nephrologist up there; a dietition . . . to organize and get my levels back to where they suppose to be. The kidneys really never ‘caught back themselves’ after 2011,” lamented this Dominican-born Barbadian resident.
Nayan said when he returned to Barbados, his local doctor told him he was not sure if the kidney would stabilize, but would monitor the situation closely.
“So I had a few more doctor apppointments than I had previously, from 2005. He kept a close eye on it. I got a couple kidney stones in between there; I also suffered from gout as well, because of that kidney disease,” he said.
“It just kept declining, declining, and we kept a close eye on it, knowing that one day we may have to have an option of transplant. Twenty-fourteen was actually the year that I had another experience of gastro because of Stage 5 kidney disease. Your appetite isn’t so good at that point, and different other symptoms you get; I got those and I got gastro and I had to be admitted to the hospital for two days,” said Nayan as he stared off into space.
He noted that efforts were being made to get his water levels back up because of very low hydration. He explained that some of the normal body functioning levels which should be about 160 plus, his was up to around a mind-boggling 1,600.
“It has been rough going through it since 2005; but 2014 was really the year when it became challenging . . . . In February, March, I was at ten per cent, but I believe in June, I actually probably dropped to a little bit below ten per cent [kidney functioning],” he reported.
Nayan says even though his kidney disease makes him tired or fatigued at times, he still continues to go about his daily living and, although not in a full-fledged manner, he also still ministers in song at various places.
“I pretty much do everything that I used to do. If you had asked me that question about two or three months ago, it would have been different. But today it is a bit different and I really want to thank God for that. I believe that it is because of the grace of God that I am at this position right now.
“About two three months ago I was a bit down, not performing, not ministering any where. I have been back out and trying . . . not overdoing it, because I don’t want to get too dehydrated.
“I will not stop doing what I have to do,” he insisted, “because I believe God has given me life in itself and I should be thankful for that too.”
Nayan said he started dialysis about a month and a half ago and it had helped him a lot. With a broad smile on his face, he pointed out that at 27 years old, dialysis treatment had been a challenge.
“But it is a call of wisdom, I guess. In having faith, you are also supposed to have wisdom. At that point, I felt we needed to make a decision on if I had really to do that. It has helped me a lot. It is still hard getting used to it.
“Some of the nurses in the clinic told me I probably will get used to it soon; some say it may take you a little longer. On a daily basis, I am really optimistic about my situation. I am really hopeful I will be better; and that helps me a lot in my functioning,” added Nayan.
He disclosed that when he was looking for a kidney donor and had discussed the matter with a friend in Barbados, that family man simply told him: “I have two kidneys, one is yours.”
Since then, the donor has passed all the appropriate tests in Barbados, but now has to go to Toronto General Hospital in Canada to be assessed by doctors there to ensure he is suitable. Nayan said the whole process, including the transplant in Canada, was estimated to cost between US$250,000 and US$300,000, with a down payment required. Fortunately, Nayan has that down payment already and is waiting on the donor to fly out to Canada. He is not certain when that will be.
He said once the Canadian doctors give the all-clear, he and his donor, whom he has known since 2004, will then go to Canada together to undergo additional tests before the actual transplant can take place.
On completion, Nayan is expected to spend about two months there in after-care before returning to Barbados. However, there will be other follow-up care which may require his either returning to Canada or communicating via teleconference from Barbados.
In the meantime, a benefit concert is being held on Friday to help raise funds for Nayan’s surgery. This concert, dubbed Help Nayan Warrington Live –– One Love Benefit Concert, will take place at the New Dimension Ministries in Barbarees Hill, St Michael, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Gospel artistes performing will include De Warrior, Sherwin Gardner, Neesha Woodz, Gozzy, KDB, Nicovia And Larix, and Que And St Matthew. Admission is $20.