A Sedalia woman knows the importance of organ donation firsthand due to learning she is in kidney failure at age 27.
Dalynn “Lexx” Bynum-Phillips, formerly of Marshall, moved to Sedalia in 2018 to attend State Fair Community College. She now works at Walmart in apparel. Bynum-Phillips has had Type-1 Diabetes since age 9 and was seeing a local heart doctor for high blood pressure when he found a problem last November.
“That next morning on my birthday they called me and said my labs were abnormal,” she noted. “I hadn’t been to the heart doctor for a while … it was just something I put off.”
She called her primary care doctor at Katy Trail Community Health who told her she needed to go to the emergency room. Bynum-Phillips found her blood work showed high potassium, abnormal creatinine, high sodium and showed protein was spilling into her urine. She had also been seeing a hematologist at Bothwell Regional Health Center who found she was anemic.
Bynum-Phillips was sent to University Hospital in Columbia where a team of nephrologists determined she was in kidney failure and needed dialysis and a kidney transplant. At present, both of her kidneys have only 10% to 15% functionality.
She takes dialysis treatment Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Dialysis Clinic Inc. in Sedalia. Each treatment removes waste and toxins from her blood and takes 3.5 hours to complete.
Bynum-Phillips said she hopes to get on a transplant list at University Hospital soon. She recently applied for Medicare in hopes of supplementing her health insurance.
“I thought my insurance at work would be enough, but it’s not,” she explained. “Since I’ve already put in an application, I can go ahead and move forward with the process of me getting on (a list), but they don’t accept my actual Medicare (application) for another three months.”
In the meantime, Bynum-Phillips’ friend Melissa Heuerman became proactive and started a Facebook page, “Lexx needs a kidney,” two weeks ago. Heuerman said she is amazed at Bynum-Phillips’ strength.
“I just want to add what an amazing young woman Lexi is,” Heuerman said. “She has the most contagious attitude.
“Her laugh can brighten the worst of days for anyone,” she continued. “Her spirit is so unique. Anyone that knows her will tell you just how amazing she is.”
Heuerman said she met Bynum-Phillips while working at Walmart.
“Even though she is going through all this you can still find her doing her job with a smile,” Heuerman said. “She is truly one of a kind. I am grateful to be a part of this journey with her.”
Bynum-Phillips said knowing she needs a transplant is difficult.
“It’s pretty hard,” she noted. “You’ll grieve for a while, you know. It can happen to anybody, not just being diabetic. It’s one of those things that can just happen.”
She added this Thursday, she will receive her permanent catheter for dialysis, which will be placed into her arm instead of her chest.
Bynum-Phillips added she’s not seeking monetary donations on Facebook, but only looking for a compatible kidney transplant match.
For more information about Bynum-Phillips’ kidney donation journey, visit her Facebook page at Lexx needs a kidney.