Student’s father faces several; illnesses, hopes for new kidney

At age 12, Ruth Frausto remembers being helpless when her father fainted and was rushed to the hospital in kidney failure.

“My dad doesn’t have a good kidney and is getting a new one soon. He has diabetes and high blood pressure too and it makes me feel sick to see him in pain,” Frausto said.

Frausto and her sisters offered to donate their own kidney to their father.

“We were thinking about it, but he didn’t want to take it from us,” Frausto said. “It makes it seem like he’s trying to be stronger than he actually is.”

Frausto, on the verge of tears with her voice cracking, said her father’s health worsened during her senior year of high school, when she decided to attend Del Mar College and study nursing.

“It was crazy. He had said to us that he had cancer, so it made us scared for him. We thought, ‘Oh, what would we do if he passes?’” Frausto said. “It scared us because we didn’t know what would happen, but he ended up beating it.”

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, an estimated 16.5 percent of adults in the Coastal Bend community have diabetes, which is significantly higher than the state’s 11 percent.

The Coastal Bend area has the highest percentages for obesity with a total of 74.7 percent of adults, versus 67.8 percent of the state.

Hispanic men ages 45-64 are the most likely group to get diabetes in Texas.

Dietician Taylor Wolfram said nutritionists help provide information about how to eat and give practical tips when it comes to diabetes.

“We help put together a daily meal plan that considers individual food preferences, level of physical activity and lifestyle, and will work with patients who have diabetes to set nutrition goals to improve their health,” Wolfram said.

Wolfram warns to not seek medical information via the Internet.

“If you have diabetes, a registered dietician nutritionist can provided medical nutrition therapy to help manage the disease while ensuring you get necessary nutrients,” Wolfram said. “Please, don’t go to WebMD or Facebook to ask what you should be eating or how you should be exercising.”

Living with this information for the past six years, Frausto’s father is finally filling out the paperwork to get a new kidney but knowing that she’ll be able to take care of him in the future is gratitude enough.

“Just knowing I can help people, once I graduate, makes me know I made the right choice as my major,” Frausto said.

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