Saturday, November 28, 2009

Caregiver Profile: A'dree-Rose Hollinger, RN

Steve had a post-Thanksgiving detour: a baby heart attack requiring a balloon angioplasty. It occurred during our Thanksgiving night dialysis--a total of five nitroglycerine tablets in all, given over a period of several middle-of-the-night hours when boats don't sail from Bainbridge Island to Seattle! But there was no residual damage, and Steve will be back to his cardiac rehabilitation program this week.

If there was a bright spot in this unwelcome detour, it was the opportunity to meet an outstanding dialysis nurse at Swedish Medical Center/Cherry Hill. In the past, we've often had to expain to doctors and nurses alike that - yes, we do dialysis at home; yes - it's hemodialysis; and, no - it's not just because I'm a doctor - it's because we received excellent training at the Northwest Kidney Centers.

But A'dree-Rose Hollinger knew all about Home Hemodialysis. In fact, she'd been her Grandfather's Home Hemodialysis assistant for a period of four years beginning when she was only nineteen years old. She was a Seattle University nursing student at the time. Like Steve and I, A'dree-Rose and her Grandfather trained at the Northwest Kidney Centers' Home Training Unit.

When her Grandfather started receiving his treatments at home, A'dree-Rose would bring her nursing textbooks to study during the runs. All the while, her Grandma was busy baking cookies for A'dree-Rose "and for the dorm."

What a great win-win situation! A'dree Rose gave her Grandfather years of quality life with treatments at home rather than in-Center. And he gave his Granddaughter the opportunity and encouragement to learn a skill that takes considerable investment, particularly when you're only nineteen. Even her nursing instructors were skeptical, telling this young nursing student, "You can't do dialysis at home!"

A'dree-Rose told us that she'd won a scholarship that covered most of her RN training expenses at Seattle University. When she wrote her application letter, she wrote about her experience helping her Grandfather with Home Hemodialysis. She must have been a shoe-in! Now, she works as a dialysis nurse on staff at Swedish Medical Center.

Steve and I both treasured the opportunity to meet A'dree-Rose. She had a genuine kindness about her, and the kind of empathy for a dialysis family that could only come from a compatriot: a fellow in-the-trenches caregiver.

A'dree-Rose told us that her Grandpa has since passed away. But we couldn't help but think how proud he would be of this shining star. Compassion, kindness, and personal life experience -- the perfect combination in a dialysis nurse or any other health care provider!

Thank you, A'dree-Rose, for taking care of your Grandpa -- and for taking such good care of Steve.
Tale care. Linda Gromko, MD


  1. Hi Linda,
    I'm sorry you and Steve had a yucky Thanksgiving night, but I'm relieved you got through it okay. I hope next year will be better. And next week, and the week after that....etc.

    Best wishes

  2. Miriam,

    Thank you for your kind message. We have landed on our feet once again. Steve is a sturdy person!

    Take care, Linda