My Faith Carries Me Past My Health Obstacles

This blog post was made by Pedro Rivera III on April 6, 2023.
My Faith Carries Me Past My Health Obstacles

My name is Pedro Rivera III, I was diagnosed in 1998 with end stage renal disease at the age of 31. Along with this diagnosis came a history of other problems.  I was morbidly obese, and also had extremely high blood pressure.  As life went on, I started working in a dialysis clinic, and became a Patient Care Technician, PCT. One thing I found out was that as your kidney function begins to decrease your bones become brittle, they begin to deteriorate.

Then my bones started to deteriorate, starting with my left hip. I had a full hip replacement in 2001, was still working as a PCT and was a volunteer firefighter as well. Within 5 weeks of doing physical therapy, I was back in action with no restrictions.  

We move ahead 2 years and at this time, at the age of 36, I was at stage 5 kidney failure and began dialysis. It was 2003 and I had done nothing about trying to lose some weight, but was trying to do healthier things. My dialysis treatments were 4 and a 1/2 hours each, 3 days a week and my life was miserable. I immediately tried to get on the transplant list and was informed that I needed to lose a minimum of 100 pounds before they would even consider placing me on the list.

By this time, I had changed my eating habits drastically, which was a good thing. I just stopped eating as much. I used to eat 5 to 6 meals a day, full meals. My blood pressure was still through the roof. And my bones were cracking all over. Due to the fact that I had improper calcium levels in my body and I was so heavy, my feet took the brunt of all of that weight. The bones in both of my feet start it to fracture crumble and deteriorate. 

In 2006 I started doing my dialysis at home, so I was doing 5 treatments a week 2 and a 1/2 to 3 hours each treatment. Life was starting to feel back to normal, my energy level was much better, and I actually was able to do things with my fire department again. In 2007, I began working as a phlebotomist at our local emergency room, just a couple of days a week. 

We now move on to 2010 and I received a kidney transplant from a living donor. My donor didn't realize that she had an intestinal virus called CMV, it was dormant in her—but with my low immune system, it flared up in me within the first month of me receiving the kidney. Back in the hospital I go, to receive antibiotics.  After 2 weeks I was discharged, no more signs of the virus. 

This transplanted kidney lasted 3 years. 

Within those 3 years the bones in my feet started to fracture, both feet, but the left one was worst. So, as my kidney rejected, in 2013 it was removed, then I could start to focus on working on my feet. I had surgeries and placement of metal to replace the bones and give them structure.  After a few years and two surgeries, God revealed to me that I could still function with an amputation. My surgeon would not consider it, he still wanted to try other things. I chose to change doctors, and he told me there was no saving it. 

In 2019, my left leg was amputated below the knee. I thought life would be easy, I'll get my prosthetic and go back to walking. But, it doesn't work like that. The pain, the swelling, I felt like my life crashed around me. Once the swelling went down and I was able to get fitted for prosthetic, I started physical therapy. Three 1/2 months and I was back on my feet. 

So, I move on to the right foot, and ended up having two surgeries as well, the doctor knew eventually amputation was inevitable, but he was trying to do what he could to save it. September 11, 2021 it was time to amputate. One thing I have always done, before I am put under with the anesthesia, I always make everyone in the O.R. stop, and I pray for all of them. I ask God to let them be on their A game, because I am a child of the most high God. 

By the end of December, I was up on my feet again, walking like nothing ever happened. I've learned throughout the years that my faith plays the key in my rehabilitation and my recovery.  I know that God is my all and all. He is with me through everything I go through. I always say, when we go through trials and tribulations He is just like a teacher in school, He's quiet and watching, to see how we will come out of it. And I've always come out victorious.

On October 29th 2022, I fell and fractured a bone in my left leg behind my knee. This fracture had me bedridden for 3 months. Towards the end of January, I started physical therapy 2 days a week to help me build up strength back in my legs. After 2 months of strenuous physical therapy and exercise, I graduated and was released from physical therapy. I walked in there using a walker and walked out of there only using a cane

There is a gospel song that says, “ I learned to pray in and out of season, for any time and any reason. Prayer is the key, and faith unlocks the door. If you believe, it shall be done. He'll hear every word you say, and while you’re calling He's on his way.  Prayer will fix it every time!!”

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.. Hebrews 11:1

God Bless you all.


  • Julie Trusty

    Apr 07, 2023 2:44 PM

    What a beautiful and heartfelt story of your life and a great testament to God, the Father. Thank you for sharing,
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