And the best is yet to come

In March this year, Construyendo Futuro interviewed a strong girl undergoing dialysis at Diaverum Santa Fe, who still did not stop dancing in the Cabo parades of Sauce/ Argentina. Today, we are happy to announce that Valentina has been transplanted. A story of hope and courage.

A little history

Valentina was born on January 2nd, 2003, in Chajarí, Entre Rios province, and started a dialysis treatment in July 2015. In May this year, we were lucky to interview her parents and we got to meet those beautiful eyes which become slanted to give room to a sweet smile. Valentina sings, dances and plays the guitar. Music is her companion in life. In May, she surprised us with a song she loves: “I believe in me” [“Creo en mí”] by Natalia Jiménez. In the chorus it says: “We are all so different, unique, original… I’ve been through the worst, and the best is yet to come. I believe, I believe, I believe in me…”

And the best was about to happen. A few weeks ago Valen’s parents told us about the great news. Aimará, her mother, said: “You should call her father so he can tell the story better because I get emotional when I talk about it, I can’t.” So we talked to Valen’s father, Guillermo, who told us that Valentina had been successfully transplanted.

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No time to think

Guillermo tells us that “everything happened so fast, there was no time to think, just to act”. Today, Valen is at home, recovering after the transplant and all her family feels that there are not enough words to express their gratitude. “Valen was scared, but she knew this was her chance”, says Guillermo.

In July 2015, when they started Valen´s treatment in Diaverum Santa Fe, the daily life of the family became a marathon of trips. They live 300 kilometers away from the town center, so every-day life had to be reorganized but Guillermo states that Valen always kept a positive attitude and underwent the dialysis treatment with great energy. Valen was on dialysis for one year. It was a year of learning and patience. Her family highlights the loving care with which their daughter was treated during this year at Diaverum.

The phone rings

On Thursday, August 11th, Aimará’s cell phone rang, when it was not even 7 am. They had been trying to reach Guillermo’s cell phone but the device was not working properly on that particular day. Aimará picked up and when she heard what the call was about, she faltered and put her husband on the phone. Guillermo and his family were instructed to go to Nephro Clinic [Clínica Nefro] in Santa Fe. Some weeks before, Guillermo had been undergoing the medical tests to become his daughter’s donor, since Valen had cartilage growth problems in her hips and knees. Although both parents were willing to be donors, doctors indicated that Guillermo would be the better option. In case Aimará wanted to become pregnant again in the future, it would be too risky for her.

Finally, the donation was possible and everything happened very quickly. During that rushed morning, however, Valen’s parents allowed themselves an instant visit to the girl’s grandparents. Very emotional hugging and crying but full of strength, as well. “As soon as Valen heard the news, she feared the surgery, but during the trip we talked about it and she understood that this operation was a big opportunity for her”, says Guillermo.

They arrived at 1 pm. The team supporting Dr. Paladini counted 15 doctors. Guillermo was surprised but also felt reassured it would all end well. The surgery lasted around one hour and a half. Valen remained in the Intensive Care Unit for three days, and one more day in intermediate care. “At the beginning, we were not allowed to stay with her over night. So Valen was very brave and stayed in her room all alone, while we were in the waiting room. Luckily, she recovered very quickly.” Guillermo tells us that she was a little uncomfortable due to the catheter, but she resisted all pain without complaining. During her recovery, our little heroine is still not attending school. She is at home, and still needs many precautions and much care.

Sadness and pride

Guillermo tells us: “When I posted the news that Valen had been transplanted, a family member of another kidney donor made a comment. He wrote that he felt sad, but at the same time, proud.” These are very hard stories, they imply a lot of pain on several accounts, but the challenge is to find hope to keep moving forward and, as Valen says, always remember that “the best is yet to come”.

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