Hidden History Uncovered:

Johnnie Lee Patterson: The first black man to travel across country on a portable dialysis machine

Kennedy Wren


Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

When I was a child, and even more so now as an adult. I think about all the great men and women who’ve done extraordinary things that have changed the cores of history, but who have never had a chance to see how their willingness to take a leap of faith changed the way many live their lives today.

Today that changes for one brave hidden figure.

Johnnie Lee Patterson (1937- 1988) was the first black man to travel across the country on a portable dialysis machine. He was a Husband, Father, Jack of many trades, a pioneer ahead of his time, but my favorite title is grandpa.

Going across the country has been a luxury for many American families for many years. No worries aside from the many bathroom breaks, food stops, and , "are we there yet's?"

But for one family of four in the early 80's It was nothing short of a miracle.

My Grandfather had chronic kidney failure and depended on hemodialysis to keep him alive.

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

“CKD is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as they should. Because of this, excess fluid and waste from blood remain in the body and may cause other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke…” “…CKD has varying levels of seriousness. It usually gets worse over time though treatment has been shown to slow progression. If left untreated, CKD can progress to kidney failure and early cardiovascular disease. When the kidneys stop working, dialysis or kidney transplant is needed for survival..” — Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative

How does hemodialysis work?

Hemodialysis is a procedure where a dialysis machine and a special filter called an artificial kidney, or a dialyzer, are used to clean your blood. To get your blood into the dialyzes…



Kennedy Wren

God has completely healed me from Mental Illness. Now I share my life experiences living in total freedom as a Prophetic Pastor.