13 years ago, a Gueydan man got a new lease on life thanks to his wife and now he’s paying it forward.
“It was devastating. I thought my life was over.” remembered Milton Hebert who had his world turned upside down after finding out his kidneys were failing
“I called my wife and was balling. I was crying.” he added.
Milton then found the Fresenius Kidney Care in Abbeville
“We provide a service and work with them. We provide the service of dialysis and emotional and physical support.” said Louise Bellard, Facility Administrator at Fresenius Kidney Care.
A short time after Milton started undergoing peritoneal dialysis.
This meant that instead of being forced to go to a clinic to hooking himself to a machine, he could carry out his treatment at home with a portable that would attach to his stomach while he was sleeping.
“It’s cleaning your blood and your fluids and your toxins at 15% of what a normal kidney does so you do get sick at times. You don’t have as much energy when you have healthy kidneys. You’re not able to do certain things like you used to before because it’s not working like normal kidneys do but as long as you follow your diet, follow the prescriptions and the dialysis that’s given to you from the doctor. You can almost live a normal life as one with healthy kidneys.” Milton explained.
A process that went on for nearly a year.
“On the outside he didn’t appear to be sick so for us that gave us hope that he would be getting through this.” recalled Terri Hebert, Milton’s wife.
Then one day his Terri received the best news of her life, when she found out she could donate her kidney.
“Once we know that I could possibly be a donor, I wasn’t even thinking about should I, shouldn’t I? It was a definite yes that I would be doing this. He was able to do the normal things he usually did, eat normal things he normally ate and just be there for us as a father and a husband.” she said.
Milton was hesitant at first
“What convinced me is my wife told me, she wanted me to be here for my kids and for her and that was the most important thing.” said Milton.
Now that he no longer undergoes dialysis, he has devoted his life to assisting others who going through dialysis at the same clinic he says saved his life.
“They think that their life is over and when they see me a past dialysis patient and someone who has received the transplant and is healthy and walking around with a smile on their face, being able to do things. They say that I inspire them and a lot of times they tell me when I’m at their lowest point I think of you and your story and your story brings me up and makes me continue with my life.” said Milton
“It feels like a reality check in every way that it can be and we depend on our social workers like Milton, to help us get through and meet all of the patients needs and meet them where they are.” Bellard added.
At the end of the day, everything Milton does is for his family.
“I feel very grateful that I was given this gift that we have more than 12 years more with him and it’s been wonderful that he was able to be a father, a grandfather” said Terri.
“When I look at the picture of my family, I see love, I see hope that I can be with them because of my transplant and because of everything that came about. I see the future.” said Milton.