Former Dialysis Patient Inspires Others Through Social Work

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Thirteen years ago, Milton Hebert, now 52, learned the devastating news that his kidneys were failing. He thought his life was over. Now twelve years later, Milton is thriving and uses his training as a social worker to support others undergoing life-sustaining dialysis treatment.

After his diagnosis, Milton began peritoneal dialysis treatments at home with a machine that attaches to his abdominal area while he sleeps. His support team at Fresenius Kidney Care had encouraged him to try home dialysis so he could have the flexibility needed to maintain his job and spend more precious time with his wife and four children.

“While I was on dialysis, the people I worked with at Fresenius Kidney Care were so nice and helped me understand what dialysis is,” Milton said. “They gave me the instructions and confidence to do my treatments on my own, so I could be where I was needed most – at home.”

A year later, Milton received a successful kidney transplant from his wife. While concerned at first, he eventually accepted her offer.

“I first told her no,” Milton said. “But she wanted me to be here for our kids and for her, and she insisted they needed both of us here.”

Aiming to give back to the community he credits for saving his life, Milton joined the team at Fresenius Kidney Care in Abbeville and Jennings as a social worker in 2017. He continues educating and supporting new patients, sharing his own experiences and providing consistent optimism and encouragement.

Milton knows starting dialysis can be intimidating at first, and he wants to share his experience with others to minimize those fears and inspire them, bringing a level of empathy only someone with chronic kidney disease can offer.

“I try to see patients as soon as they start dialysis. I have been in their shoes, and I want them to feel hopeful when they hear my story,” Milton said. “I want them to know they can still have a life and know they’re not alone. We’re in this together.”

Watch Milton’s story on KADN-TV.