As a singer, Teeramanas Tanaekakarapong loved to perform all over Thailand. His passion as a singer took him to many beautiful places throughout the country. Singing was the light of his life.
After having trouble breathing, Tanaekakarapong, went to the hospital, where he learned from doctors that he had chronic renal failure, also known as end-stage kidney disease.
Just like that, his world turned upside down. His every move seemed to be dictated by hemodialysis treatments, which he needed to live. For a man who loved to travel and experience life, it felt like his freedom vanished overnight.
Initially, Tanaekakarapong sought hemodialysis treatments at a private hospital for a couple of months until he could no longer afford the cost. Fortunately, he was able to transfer to another facility where he began receiving peritoneal dialysis (PD) through a governmental program called Thailand’s PD First policy.
Tanaekakarapong is one of thousands of patients in Thailand and across the Asian Pacific relying on PD therapy to help manage his condition. Thailand has seen a sharp increase in the number of PD patients, from about 1,000 in January 2008 to approximately 16,500 at the end of 2014. “The PD First policy is helping me every day,” Tanaekakarapong said.
“After I started peritoneal dialysis, I felt like my life had more value. Not only can I continue doing the things I love, but I also can help others going through similar situations. It’s in those moments that I feel most alive.”— Teeramanas Tanaekakarapong
Entertainer, PD patient
Tanaekakarapong says the ability to conduct PD therapy at home gives him more freedom to work and raise his family, which includes a 25-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter. At first, he was hesitant about transitioning to PD therapy, thinking it would be difficult and time-consuming. However, after receiving patient training he found it was a convenient and effective home treatment that didn’t require him to make as many trips to the hospital.
Tanaekakarapong (now 52 years old) is again able to travel and work as a singer. He is pursuing his passions. He also feels that his life has more value through sharing his story to motivate others.
“After I started peritoneal dialysis, I felt like my life had more value,” says Tanaekakarapong. “Not only can I continue doing the things I love, but I also can help others going through similar situations. It’s in those moments that I feel most alive.
“Even though I am a patient with renal failure,” he says, “I am happy.”