Armstrong’s Miriam Hoekstra (centre), formerly of Lumby, is a mother of three kids in dire need of new kidneys. Both of hers are working at less than 10 per cent. She is hoping for a live donor. (File photo)

Armstrong’s Miriam Hoekstra (centre), formerly of Lumby, is a mother of three kids in dire need of new kidneys. Both of hers are working at less than 10 per cent. She is hoping for a live donor. (File photo)

Armstrong woman seeking kidney donor

Miriam Hoekstra, 37, mom of three, formerly of Lumby, is in dire need of a transplant

Her 17-year-old daughter helps out mom and dad when she can. Her two youngest sons, nine and six, kiss their care aide mother on the head before bed and say they wish she didn’t have to be sick.

Miriam Hoekstra wishes that too. So do her husband, the three kids, her extended family and friends.

Hoekstra, 37, is in dire need of a new kidney. The two she has are both functioning at less than 10 per cent.

“I got a call this month from the kidney doctor who said, ‘Look, your kidneys are never going to recover so let’s look around for a kidney for you,’” said Hoekstra, formerly from Lumby but now residing in Armstrong.

Hoekstra presently receives dialysis twice a week at the Vernon Renal Clinic, a procedure that leaves her feeling sick. A day after dialysis she’ll vomit, her body will be itchy all over and she’ll have massive migraine headaches. When she starts to feel better, it’s time for dialysis.

“It’s hard, actually,” said Hoekstra, whose story the Morning Star chronicled in July 2020 after sister-in-law Kate Hoekstra began a GoFundMe campaign.

Hoekstra began having extreme pain in her abdomen in April of last year, and a cyst the size of a melon was discovered on her ovary and fallopian tube. She underwent a hysterectomy on June 15. And while recovery should have been smooth, it was anything but for Hoekstra, who was still extremely sore from the procedure. A scan showed that her bowel had been lacerated and she was immediately taken into surgery.

“That surgery saved my life,” said Hoekstra.

It was then that doctors noticed her kidneys weren’t functional. She had been in intensive care at Vernon Jubilee Hospital but was transferred to Kelowna as VJH, Hoekstra said, did not have dialysis machines in ICU.

She was in KGH for about four weeks, which included being in a medically induced coma for a day or two after her lungs filled with fluid. Hoekstra returned home to the North Okanagan on Aug. 7, 2020, and immediately began dialysis.

Hoekstra is scheduled for surgery Monday, Feb. 1, to reverse her ostomy bag which would allow her to go to the washroom normally, and she has reached out to girlfriends and to her three brothers to consider testing to be a live organ donor.

She could be placed on the waiting list for deceased organs, but there’s a two-year waiting period with COVID-19 playing a big part in that.

“For my overall health, I’m better with a live donor,” said Hoekstra, who has been unable to work since her original surgery.

You can find information here on being a live donor from the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s website, kidney.ca.

The GoFundMe campaign organized by her sister-in-law netted more than $5,600 to help with Hoekstra’s expenses.

READ MORE: WATCH: North Okanagan Mountie shares PTSD story in powerful video



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Providing seniors with tablets in order to stay connected is just one of the services offered by the Lake Country Health Planning Society. (Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society photo)
Support helps Lake Country society reduce COVID impacts on mental health

District grants funding to Health Planning Society

Elementary students from Vernon Christian School are looking to spread some cheer through their Carnation for Seniors campaign. (VCS - Contributed)
Vernon students spread cheer through carnations

Vernon Christian School hosting carnation campaign to bring joy to seniors in town

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Alexa Wyatt-McCarthy, Courtney King, and Vernon North Okanagan RCMP Const. Nic Reimann, a board director for Cops for Kids, presented a new stroller and gifts Feb. 26, 2021, to a mother whose stroller was stolen in January. (RCMP)
Stolen Vernon stroller replaced in act of kindness

Fundraising efforts kickstarted by local businesswoman, backed by Vernon RCMP

A local aerial photographer's drone was stolen from his car Feb. 24. (Kyle Froud photo)
New Vernon business deflated by thieves

Aerial photographer’s drone stolen from car overnight

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here are the stories that made waves in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

BC Housing has proposed that the emergency winter shelter at Victory Church at 352 Winnipeg Street be extended as a shelter until March 31, 2022. It was originally intended to be open until April 1, 2021. (Jesse Day - Western News)
One more year of ‘temporary’ homeless shelter in Penticton?

BC Housing has applied to extend Victory Church as a shelter for those experiencing homelessness

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Most Read