Like mother, like child: Living with the same disease as your mom

When Vishma Sookdeo’s mother was 25 in Trinidad, she almost had a near-death experience.Kamla Sookdeo was battling an ongoing chronic kidney disease, and as result was taking medications every day to avoid relapse.Living in a country with not as much access to adequate healthcare, in the early days, Vishma told Global News her mother was told to “go home and make [her] will.”“She didn’t have as much research or technology to help diagnose her [condition] earlier,” she said.Story continues belowToday, Kamla, 67, has been diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s immune system. People with the condition can experience fatigue, joint pain, chest pain and sometimes butterfly-shaped rashes on their face.READ MORE: Cystic fibrosis is still the No. 1 fatal genetic disease for Canadian kids – here’s whyWhen Vishma turned 27, she got seriously ill.“My story kind of began around the same age as my mom’s did,” she explained. Her condition sent her to five hospitals in Toronto between the months of August 2016 and December 2016. In that short period of time, Vishma had no idea what was happening to her body — and rightfully so, she was terrified.“I almost died from this mysterious illness [at that time, doctors were unsure of her condition] that damaged my kidneys to about 30 per cent and gave me a stroke and vision loss,” she said. “I lost my ability to walk and had to relearn using a walker for a while.”A mother herself, she was later diagnosed with ANCA Vasculitis, an autoimmune disease that causes the swelling of blood vessels.Kamla Sookdeo (left) and Vishma Sookdeo (right). Photo provided by Sookdeo family. 

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