Nathan Kirkland has been getting lifesaving dialysis treatments three times a week for the past 17 years. It's a grueling process that takes a couple of hours, but he says he draws strength from his nurses.
"I've been knowing Brenda and Helen over the years. I've been knowing them since I've started, and they're the best nurses on the coast, I believe. Thank God for dialysis nurses," Kirkland said.
Brenda Capuyan is the Clinical Manager at the Fresenius Medical Care South Mississippi Kidney Center in West Gulfport. When Katrina leveled the facility, she worked around the clock at another dialysis clinic that was still open. The decision, for her, was an easy one.
"I think, at a time like that, patients have to have dialysis care and that you have to, really. You don't have any choice but to do something for them," Capuyan said.
Heather De Bord's family evacuated during the storm, but she stayed behind to work at the dialysis clinic at Memorial Hospital.
"It was kind of a 24 hour-a-day situation for days. We just kind of all worked together to get the job done and take care of the patients," DeBord said.
Although the two nurses won't sing their own praises, their hard work and dedication haven't gone unnoticed.
"I just look at it as God knew what he was doing when he sent them to us... We all have different needs and different levels of things we need, some are worse than others, but some are better than others. But these nurses, they come in and they come out, and they're always on the job," Kirkland said.
The Fresenius Medical Care South Mississippi Kidney Center reopened in May of 2006.