Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

30 years of strength

Jacquelyn Hall describes her patient of 30 years, Vivian Holloman, as hilarious, sarcastic and “sweet as can be.”

Hall, a vascular access coordinator and dialysis technician, has known Holloman as a dialysis patient since she started working at UF Health in 1998.

Holloman began her dialysis treatments in 1990, and this year she reached the outstanding milestone of 30 years on dialysis. 

End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which causes a person’s kidneys to cease functioning permanently on their own, requires Holloman to come in three times per week.

Hall worked with Holloman for about four months before the connection was made that Holloman knew Hall’s sister because they were both residents of Chiefland, Florida.

“My sister told me her nickname, which is ‘Penny,’ and everyone from Chiefland knows her as this,” Hall said.

This familiarity sparked an instant connection. Hall would sing “happy birthday” to her every year, and always comforted Holloman and provided clarity before procedures.

Hall’s main job responsibilities include maintaining the water quality testing of dialysis machines, coordinating with patients who do not have permanent dialysis access and getting patients on the road to permanent dialysis. She also trains nurses on how to cannulate patients, which is inserting a tube into the body, usually for the delivery or removal of fluids.

Of those nurses, Ronald Komorowski, R.N., on the dialysis unit, has worked with Vivian since 1995. Komorowski and Hall would describe Vivian as outgoing, outspoken and caring.

Komorowski says the most inspiring thing about Holloman is her tenacity.

For Holloman’s milestone, Hall knew that a celebration must take place.

“Vivian was, of course, so humble about it,” Hall said. “No one knew about her 30 years until one of her dieticians came in and told us.”

With the help of other staff that knew Holloman, the celebration planning kicked into full gear.

“I called a friend of mine and she helped decorate the lobby all the way to her room,” Hall said. “We made a big array of balloons over her door.” The staff decorated Holloman’s room and the lobby in purple and gold, which are Holloman’s favorite colors.

Since purple is Holloman’s favorite color, every balloon and decoration was purple and gold. The food consisted of small fruit cups, chicken wings, Christmas butter cookies and coffee.

To make Holloman feel even more loved, Hall contacted two previous dialysis technicians that Holloman was close with before Hall started working at UF Health. Holloman got to speak with them on the phone and said it made her entire day.

Coming in 12 times a month for treatment is not always easy, but Komorowski says Holloman always embodies an uplifting spirit.

“She has survived 30 years of dialysis and endured numerous procedures and medical treatments,” Komorowski said. “This in and of itself may be more than most people could tolerate or survive.”

Holloman says this 30-year milestone keeps her hopeful.

“I just keep living, moving and going,” Holloman said.

About the Author

Caroline Lee