Embracing Home Hemodialysis as a Family

John Horton and his daughter Amanda
John Horton was enjoying a busy life as a husband, father, and full-time mortgage lender in the early 2000s, when he started to feel unwell. John had a history of high blood pressure, so when he started to feel worse, he talked to his doctor. His doctor told him that his kidneys were starting to fail, saying "When you're sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, you'll need dialysis." John and his family took the news in stride and decided immediately to do home hemodialysis.

Training for home hemodialysis

In 2002, John and his wife, Linda, were trained at their local Fresenius Kidney Care on the same type of hemodialysis machine that was used for in-center dialysis. Linda, a nurse, became John's care partner at home, while their 14-year-old daughter, Amanda, also paid close attention to her father's care. The clinic manager at the time used to joke that the couple became such experts at hemodialysis, "they could've gone to work for us on the clinic floor."

Happily keeping up with life and treatment

John loved the flexibility of being on home dialysis. He and his family traveled to their beach house, went with Amanda to speed-skating events, and continued with life as usual. John and Linda both still worked full time. John and his doctor worked together to determine a treatment plan that was right for him. He felt good—and treatment became a way of life. When the smaller, portable NxStage home hemodialysis machine became available, traveling and being on the go got even easier. "It was a blessing," he says.

Impacting his daughter's future

John's daughter, Amanda, grew up around her father's dialysis—watching him get set up for treatment, making sure he was comfortable, and, later, helping whenever she could. It was this positive experience that inspired her to pursue her nursing degree. She started working for Fresenius Kidney Care part-time when she was still in school and, when she graduated, became a full-time nurse at the center. In 2019, Amanda became a Fresenius Kidney Care clinic manager in Charlotte, NC.

Transplant: a whole new chapter

In 2006, John was matched with a deceased kidney donor after 4 years on home dialysis. He had a successful kidney transplant and has been doing well ever since. He takes care of himself, enjoys life as a retiree with Linda, and is thrilled to have 3 grandkids. He also couldn't be prouder of Amanda and her career path with Fresenius Kidney Care. "I just think it's super," John declares.

 March 2020


We want to hear from you if you’re living with kidney disease and thriving—or if you’re caring for someone who is. Your experience can help inspire and empower others.

Share Your Story

Suggested topics

Comparing Hemodialysis Access Types

There are 3 types of access for hemodialysis (HD)—AV (arteriovenous) fistula, graft and HD catheter. To choose the best access...


“I was able to receive the gift of life—a transplant—from my wife.”

—Sam, on home dialysis until transplant in 2010

Watch Sam’s Story

Conditions that Cause Kidney Failure

There are many diseases and conditions that can lead to kidney failure. Kidney failure can be acute with rapid onset and may be...