At first glance, Luca has a baffling collection of audiology equipment. But each item plays a specific and important role in helping him to integrate into the hearing world.
Luca has severe hearing to profound loss, so he always wears BTE (Behind the Ear) hearing aids. Without these, his world is all but silent. These cannot be used when showering, swimming and or for any water activities which not only is restrictive but can create safety issues. There is yet to be invented / manufactured a truly waterproof hearing aid.
To combat the problem of background noise in group and social situations, Luca has a “Roger System” that includes Touch Screen Microphones (TSM’s), a pass-around microphone, a hearing aid receiver, a multi media hub and a sound field speaker. This system is used daily in Luca’s classrooms and taekwondo instructors and piano and drums teachers all wear the TSM’s . The system gives the wearer/user of the microphone a direct link to the receiver fitted to Luca’s hearing aid, adjusting for the background noise and distance in the process.
Extra microphones can be worn by other teachers/support staff and a handheld microphone is often used by his classmates during group discussions and presentations. An audio hub allows a direct link from multimedia presentations to Luca’s hearing aids. An added bonus for the class and teacher is the sound field speaker, which projects modified audio out to the whole class. The biggest challenge is to remember to mute the microphone during private conversations!
This amazing technology is essential for Luca, he wouldn’t be able to learn without it. But ensuring Luca has access to it hasn’t been a simple task. His mum Lisa has worked hard to access all available funding. Luca’s family and fundraising have covered the rest of the costs, with your help.
Currently, in Australia, nearly 25 per cent of people on dialysis are using peritoneal dialysis (PD). About 40 per cent of new patients choose peritoneal dialysis as their first treatment or while they are waiting for a transplant.
There are two types of PD:
- continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) – the day-time bags
- automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) – the overnight machine. This is the form of dialysis that Luca used from June 2020 to August 2021
Automated Peritoneal Dialysis
Luca had had a catheter (tube) inserted in his abdomen. Special PD fluid was used to clean his blood. Every night Luca’s PD ran for 8 cycles which took just under 9 hours to complete. Each cycle had 3 phases: Inflow, Dwell & Outflow
Luca was able to sleep soundly however if he ay on the tube an alarm sounded to let us know that he needed to move so the fluid could continue going in and out. This happened quite frequently and the alarm was very loud!!
During the day Luca carried out his normal activities. Luca wore a special belt to keep his catheter tube protected and out of the way.
It was of utmost importance that all Luca’s equipment was kept clean and sterile. Infection entering through catheter site or tube can lead to peritonitis which is an extremely serious condition. Rob and Lisa had been trained to set up the machine within stringent antiseptic hygiene parameters so that the risk of infection was kept to an absolute minimum.
Live kidney donation is not a cure for end stage kidney failure however it does reduce or remove the need for dialysis and reduces the time the recipient will have to wait for a kidney transplant. The success rates are higher for living donor kidneys than deceased donor kidneys.
To be a live donor, you must have normal kidney function and overall good health. Your blood and tissue type must also match the recipient’s so that their immune system will not automatically reject the transplanted kidney.
(Luca’s blood group is O.)
|Recipient blood group|
|Can receive a kidney from someone with blood group|
The transplanted kidney requires ongoing care. Luca will need to take medications to stop his body rejecting the donor kidney (anti-rejection medications) for as long as he has the transplanted kidney.
The Australian and New Zealand Paired Kidney Exchange (ANZKX) Program
The Australian and New Zealand Paired Kidney Exchange Program (ANZKX) is a collaborative live kidney donor exchange program that involves Australia and New Zealand. The goal of ANZKX is to facilitate live kidney donor transplantation by helping to match incompatible donor-recipient pairs.
A paired kidney exchange can happen when a live donor (Donor #1), who is willing to donate to a spouse, friend or relative (Recipient #1), is unable to donate because they have an incompatible blood or tissue type. ANZKX will help find compatible donors amongst other registered pairs (such as Donor #2 and Recipient #2 as shown below), who might be a suitable match, and thus enable two compatible living donor transplants to occur.
Participation in the ANZKX Program increases the chance of a living donor kidney transplant.
Participant’s information is registered in a secure computer database that contains all the registered donor/recipients pairs across Australia and New Zealand.
The computer program searches the entire available database of registered recipient/donor pairs to look for combinations that might enable a suitable kidney exchange to occur. If the computer finds a potential match doctors will arrange for the final tissue typing test for the recipient and willing living donor.
Looks like Luca has nailed persistence, determination and focus.