Dialysis and Transplant Patients Graduate from ECPI University

Dialysis and Transplant Patients Graduate from ECPI UniversityMedical Assisting students Rebecca Martin and Demyria Wilson

Charlotte Medical Assisting Students Deal with Dialysis and Transplants While Pursuing Degrees

When Demyria Wilson was sitting in class one day, she noticed another student that looked familiar. “I always remember a face,” she says. “Then I realized I had seen her at the dialysis center.” That person was Rebecca Martin. Both were traveling a similar road.

For six and a half years, Demyria had been waiting for a kidney transplant. At the onset of her disease, she was a college student, but as her condition deteriorated, she had to drop out. While enduring dialysis, she worked on and off, but nothing steady. During those years, she developed a kinship with others who faced the same pain and anguish. Having a nurturing personality, she always tried to help maintain their spirits. “I just wanted to encourage them to keep fighting,” she says. If I could do it, they could do it.”

“It’s a family-like atmosphere. I’m not just another student. My teachers have been so understanding, helping me keep up when I fall a little behind when I’m not feeling well.”
~Rebecca Martin – Medical Assisting Student, Charlotte Campus

While still on disability, Demyria decided she would try taking some online classes at ECPI University. Last July, however, she took it a step further and began pursuing her Medical Assisting degree at the Charlotte campus. When she and Rebecca figured out how they knew one another, they became fast friends. “Dialysis really drains you, so we’ve really supported one another,” she says. “It’s awesome to have a friend like that.”

After six and a half years, doctors found a match. Four months after her successful kidney transplant, she returned to class. Click To Tweet

Three weeks into her program, Demyria got the call she had been waiting for. After six and a half years, doctors found a match. Four months after her successful kidney transplant, she returned to class.

Having the flexibility to start and stop her program like she did was also one of the reasons why Rebecca chose ECPI University. She knew the ebb and flow of her condition made life unpredictable. A criminal justice major in college, she had worked at a correctional facility, but like Demyria, she had to quit working shortly after going on dialysis. During that time, she was also caring for her mother who later died from COPD.

Just like Demyria, Rebecca decided she wanted to work in the healthcare profession and enrolled in the Charlotte campus’ Medical Assisting program. “I knew it would be a challenge, given my condition, but I could tell right away how much everyone there cared about my situation,” she says. “It’s a family-like atmosphere. I’m not just another student. My teachers have been so understanding, helping me keep up when I fall a little behind when I’m not feeling well.”

“It’s a family-like atmosphere. I’m not just another student. My teachers have been so understanding, helping me keep up when I fall a little behind when I’m not feeling well.” Click To Tweet

Rebecca started dialysis in November of 2017, so she will likely have to wait some time before she gets her new kidney. In the meantime, she will get plenty of encouragement and support from Demyria. Both of them have developed a keen sense of empathy for those facing the same challenges. That’s why each of them plan to go into the nephrology side of medicine.

“I want to give back,” says Demyria. “I feel so good now and I want others to know that a better day is coming. I want to be on their side, to be an advocate. When Rebecca gets that call, I am going to rejoice for her, just like she did for me.”