Patient Stories: Jonathan F.

Jonathan F.I have a disease called amyloidosis, which has affected my heart to the point that I needed a transplant. This hereditary disease is what brought me to UCSF and the Nephrology clinic. I was turned down for a heart transplant at another hospital, so I went to UCSF, where the doctors thankfully said it could be done. I had my heart transplant at UCSF Medical Center on March 5, 2018. Some of the medications I am taking for the amyloidosis affect my kidney function, which is why I see Dr. Christopher Carlos. He is wonderful, he has been keeping track of the functioning of my kidneys, monitoring my medicines to keep it from getting worse.

One of the medications that I was on previously was known to have a negative effect on kidneys, so they were monitoring me very closely to make sure my kidney function stayed as good as it could be. However, with the original set of medications, my kidney function was deteriorating rapidly, and Dr. Carlos and the team decided they should change me to one of the newer medications, which seems to be helping keep my kidneys from getting worse.

What I love about UCSF is the way the team works. As soon as there was a decline from my baseline, they immediately sent me over to see Dr. Carlos, who has been a crucial part of the team. They made sure that not just the heart, but everything else - like my kidneys - were still functioning properly. They wanted to keep my kidneys working as well as they could, by changing medications, adjusting dosages, making sure the medications were the best options for me. They are part of the inclusive team of doctors who have kept me alive for the past almost three years now. To have someone like Dr. Carlos always on my side so that every time I go to a blood draw, is very lucky. He looks at my blood counts just as much as the cardiologists do to make sure that nothing is going wrong. As a matter of fact, Dr. Carlos has his own set of tests that I do on a regular basis, every time I go do bloodwork, to make sure that my kidneys are working. He reviews them and calls to let me know if everything is good or if they see any reduction in function, whatever the case may be. And then they communicate – the cardiologist, the nephrologist, and my primary care physician – to determine what is the best route to take for me.