P.E.I. resident has been waiting over 12 years for a kidney transplant

By Kyle LaRusic

March 9, 2016

After being sick for several days, 12-year-old Erica Harris decided to lay down to rest.

She was sleeping when her six-year-old brother entered her room to check on her. She had been making weird noises while sleeping and her brother screamed down to their parents.

Harris became unresponsive, unable to move or speak. Within an hour she was on a helicopter to Halifax. She had a toxin buildup that caused kidney failure, news that would change her life forever.

Harris was first put on dialysis in October 1992 and was on it for eight years. She received a kidney in 2000, then began having complications and was put on dialysis again.

In 2001, she received her second kidney in as many years, but it only lasted for over a year. Since then, Harris has been on the waiting list for over 12 years. It hasn’t been easy.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 1.34.20 PM“I write short stories and I admit I have killed off some doctors that are in the story.”

Sometimes, Harris takes to social media to express her feelings.

“I have taken to Facebook to rant several times about the situation.”

Trina Ralph is executive director of the Kidney Foundation, Atlantic branch. They are putting funding into helping make things better, she said.

“Right now, we need to make people want to donate and we need to bring awareness up for that to happen.”

There were 276 people on the waiting list for a kidney in Atlantic Canada in early march, she said.

Halifax is the only place in Atlantic Canada to get a transplant, and this is the best way to have it, she said.

“This allows all our best surgeons to be in the same place at the same time and give every patient the safest procedure possible.”

To speed up the waiting list for transplants, more people need to donate and spreading awareness is the best thing that can be done at this time, she said.