Tasha Johnson-King – She Needs A Kidney Donor

by Terry Watson | January 19th, 2021
Tasha Johnson-King

Tasha Johnson-King

For Tasha Johnson-King, giving up has no place in her life.  Currently residing in Lake Wylie, S.C., the 44-year-old wife and mother of three is great need of a kidney donation and transplant.  She has been on dialysis since March 23, 2005 and has been waitlisted for a kidney donor at three hospitals and is currently waiting to be waitlisted at four others in the state of South Carolina.
     
For anyone who knows Tasha, they would say that despite every challenge that she is facing, her outlook on life remains loving and optimistic.  “I’m a very kind person and love to donate to others, especially to children,” she says.
   
 Her journey began in 1995 after she found out that she was born with only one kidney.  “The whole time I was pregnant I didn’t have any complications or negative symptoms of only having one kidney.  That changed when I went for my six weeks checkup after giving birth.  My protein levels were through the roof.  From there I had extensive tests done.  Soon the news arrived that I only had one kidney,” she says.

From that point on, life began to change for Tasha.  “I was only 20 years old at that time and in 1998, I found out my kidneys were failing.  I was given medicines to help slow the failing process.  The medicines did work for a long time, but as years passed my medicines didn’t work as well as they once did.  I was getting sicker and sicker.  I was only 28 years old and wasn’t ready to start dialysis.  I already knew what the treatment would be like and I was scared to start.  I also knew that it would make me feel better,” she says.
   
 As time passed, Tasha shared that she couldn’t take the misery of being sick and made the decision to start.  “I was so sick and tired until I just couldn’t do anything, and I knew that it was passed by time for me to begin. 

     On MARCH 23, 2005 Tasha’s journey began.  “It was very rough for me from the beginning.  I was in and out of the hospitals.  I had access infections and access clotting.  I also had to endure surgeries to repair or replace my accesses.  I kept reminding myself that life does get better,” Tasha says.
     
After all that she has experienced and been through, Tasha professes that she is still healthy.  She doesn’t have heart damage from all the perm catheters that have been placed in her neck and chest.  Even more, the rest of her organs are in good shape and working well.  “This is a blessing, especially after almost 16 years of being on dialysis,” she says. 
     
Life has happened for Tasha in even more ways.  While on dialysis treatment, she gave birth to a son.  Understandably, the pregnancy was challenging but her baby was born healthy and breathing on his own.  “God is awesome.  I was my doctor’s first patient who got pregnant while on dialysis. Not only that, but my tubes were also cut, tied, and burned for seven years and I still got pregnant.  Only God can perform these kinds of miracles,” she shares.
     
Today, Tasha is full of life.  “I love the fact that I’m still alive and able to raise my 22-year-old daughter who is intellectually disable, and my nine-year-old son.  My life inspires me the most because I’m still living and know that others have lost their battles,” she says.
     
She’s had to have a Thigh Graft, which is her last lifeline. Often, she is drained after dialysis sessions and unable to play with her nine-year-old son.  She also suffers from low blood pressure.  After that happens the only thing she can do is go straight to bed.  That is not a good position to be in because after treatments, it’s required that she run so that she can flush the toxins and fluid out of her body.  Not doing so can make her sicker and swell up with fluid. “All I can do is pray that I feel better,” she says.
     
Even though her journey has been challenging, Tasha says there isn’t much she would change.  “I would have liked to have more kids closer together in age.  I always wanted a big family but what I have is what God wanted me to have.  This journey has made me a stronger person and made my faith even stronger,” she says.
     
Today, Tasha needs a kidney transplant.  For this to happen she will have to be connected with someone who is a match for her.  “Donating gives us a better chance to live longer and be healthy.  No more machines to keep us alive, no more being drained and sick.  Donating a kidney or any other organs would be the best gift you could ever give to someone to live.  Donating is never a little gift, it’s always a big gift and a huge blessing to do for anyone,” she says.
   
For others who are in a similar situation as she is, Tasha advises them to stay strong and to not give up.  In the future, she plans to continue to help others who need guidance before, and while on dialysis.  Obtaining information about dialysis from someone who has gone through the experience can help someone deal with the process a lot better.  Her plans are to be off dialysis and have a new kidney soon.  She also plans to and live a healthier life with her family.  Additionally, she has plans to travel more, especially out of the country.

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