Former DA Frank Clark says dialysis “keeps me alive”

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – As a former district attorney who’s prosecuted his share of cold blooded killers, not much surprises Frank Clark.

So when News 4 Investigates told him that there’s no state regulation requiring backup power at dialysis facilities, Clark responds, “It does surprise me.”

Clark gets dialysis treatments three times a week at a DaVita center in the Town of Tonawanda, which does have a backup generator. Clark who has been getting dialysis for about three years, says, “it’s like a miracle.”

“I thank God everyday for that dialysis machine because that keeps me alive,” says Clark. “If the power goes out. The machines go down, and the process stops. And as we know, it is a life giving procedure.”

“Once I got on dialysis it was like I was a different person,” Clark tells News 4 Investigates.  “I was back to the person I used to be.”

Clark says the whole process is scary when you think that a machine takes your blood and recycles it.  Clark recalls a time when one of his needles became dislodged during treatment. “I have a graft which is an artificial artery which pumps more blood than normal, and when the needle becomes dislodged the blood literally pumps out. It spurts out.”

When it happened to Clark two nurses responded immediately before he even realized what was going on. What could have been a very serious situation was resolved within a matter of seconds.
“It’s a dangerous situation,” he says. “I was really appreciative of how quickly they got there.”

Clark is on the list for a kidney transplant, which he calls the “Holy Grail.”   But he says the wait for him could be at least two years away.
For now, the former prosecutor continues with dialysis three times a week.  He is among some 400,000 patients nationwide requiring the procedure.

“If we can get a kidney and resume what is a truly normal life that would be wonderful,” he says. “Believe me. I thank God every day for that dialysis machine because that keeps me alive.”

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