Eastgate woman struggling to get lifesaving medicine

EASTGATE, OH (FOX19) - An Eastgate woman living with kidney disease fears she won't be able to get the medical supplies she needs to stay alive.

Where ever Tina Cooper goes, her drip pole isn't far behind. The bag of Peritoneal Dialysis fluid is what's keeping her alive.

"Every three to four hours I hook the bag up to the catheter," said Cooper.

She has relied on the fluid the past six years after she was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. She goes through three of the PD bags a day, which removes toxins.

For the past three months when it is time to reorder the fluid Cooper said the company who supplies it says they are out.

"If I do not receive my treatments within two weeks my body will start rejecting everything and I won't live probably past two weeks," said Cooper.

Last month when the supplies didn't come her husband, Rick Cooper, came to the rescue and went to different dialysis centers in the area to collect what she needed for the month.

"It's scary because you don't know what you're going to do next month. It was so great before and now they don't have the supplies anymore," he said.

It's a problem many are facing. Baxter Health Care supplies the PD fluid to dialysis centers. The spokesperson for the company, Lauren Russ sent FOX19 a statement saying a surge in demand has caused delays.

"We are doing everything possible to resolve the situation quickly, and are seeing improvements. Baxter has ramped up production around the clock, and is expediting shipments to patients. We've also increased call center staff to assist patients and dialysis providers. In the case of a backorder, Baxter must work with the dialysis provider to identify a potential alternative, as all dialysis solutions require a prescription. Baxter will continue to work closely with patients and providers to ensure they receive the products they need to complete therapy," said Russ.

The Coopers are still worried about what the future holds. Right now they only have supplies for the next 26 days after that they are not sure what will happen.

"I want them to figure out how to get me what I need to keep me alive instead of saying basically your problem not mine," said Tina Cooper.

She said if she continues to have a problem getting the PD fluid she may have to consider a different treatment option which concerns her because the current method has been working so well.

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