(BPT) - The fall of 2018 was life-changing for U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Phillip Hayes. Not only did the season mark his retirement from a 33-year-long service in the Air Force, it marked the beginning of the fight for his life. Phillip’s health had been declining for some time, but he did not anticipate the news from his physician that his kidneys had failed, leading to the diagnosis of end stage kidney disease (ESKD).
Immediately after Phillip’s diagnosis, he was rushed to the Mike O’Callaghan Military Hospital located on the Nellis Air Force base in Clark County, NV, for dialysis treatments and received more tough news. Doctors informed him that his fistula, the safest access point for most people receiving dialysis, had become inoperable. To continue his treatments, Phillip would need a catheter surgically inserted into his right jugular vein, which is less safe due to its location and the associated risk of blood stream infections. The surgery and catheter would require Phillip and his care team’s close attention.