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Indianapolis dialysis patient forced to miss treatment

Posted at 1:49 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 13:55:49-05

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man says broken equipment at his dialysis treatment center has him on the brink of hospitalization.

Forn Johnson said when he misses dialysis, fluid builds up in his system, so he has to ration his intake. He will sip on a 12-ounce water bottle for more than 48 hours -- that's all he can have or he could die.

He is scheduled for treatment Wednesday, but if anything happens he'll be heading for the hospital. 

"I was forced to leave my job because of my illness," he said.

Johnson has lupus, which caused kidney disease, something 30 million Americans suffer from. He has been getting dialysis treatments for 8 years. For the last year, he's been treated at Fresenius Kidney Care location on E. 21st Street, near Shadeland Avenue.

"When you go in the clinic Monday you expect for everything to be working so you can get all that weekend fluid off of you," Johnson said. 

But when he went in Monday, the machine that delivers dialysis to him and the other patients wasn't working. 

"You'll know for sure when you're at full overload because your lungs will sort of like collapse on you," he said. 

A spokesperson for Fresenius released the following statement:

On Monday morning, the pump that delivers dialysate to our machines needed to be repaired. All patients were given the option to dialyze the same day by either receiving their treatment at a nearby center or waiting until the issue was resolved within a few hours. 

Johnson said this isn't the first time he's had a problem getting treatment at that location.

The spokesman said he's trying to confirm if there have been other incidents. He said the company's first priority is to ensure the patients have access to high quality, life-sustaining dialysis care.

Johnson needs that life-sustaining care now. He has kids and grandkids he wants to watch grow up.

"This is our life - this is what preserves our life," he said.

The Indiana State Department of Health and attorney general's office is checking to see if there have been any complaints about that Fresenius facility.

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