PORT Elizabeth resident Wally Grewar was 15 when his one remaining kidney finally gave way. Now at 42, he is a fixture at Livingstone Hospital's renal unit having been a patient there for the past 27 years.
The soft spoken, painfully thin man talks about a lifetime of living with dialysis.
Around him, the machines of the extremely busy dialysis unit beep and send off alarms as the lifesaving blood-cleansing routine for patients.
Nursing staff treat him like family and, as he explains the changes that have taken place in the past few years, he looks around the room, and says: "This has become a second home to me.
"When I was at school, I came twice a week. Now I come here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
"I arrive here before seven and I only leave after 11.
"I have to get a disability grant because I cannot work. Who will employ me? Some days I wish I could provide for myself. Do a job. Make money."
It is with joy and nostalgia that he speaks of two years of freedom, between 1991 and 1993 when he received a donor kidney that lasted for two years.
"For the first time I was free. I could go where I wanted to. I worked for my stepfather. Those two years went past so quickly. Some days I still think about them. It helps me a little."
Grewar said he was disappointed when his new kidney failed as well. "But you know it is one of those things. I am a very religious person. My faith keeps me going. When I received that donor kidney 20 years ago it was the most precious gift ever. I will never forget the day the hospital phoned. They said that I must get to the hospital. They said there was a kidney for me in Cape Town. It was the first time that I flew in an airplane," he said.
Grewar now lives with his sister and tries to work when he can.
He receives a disability grant but drives himself to dialysis and back.
"It is not easy to cope with just the grant any more.
"The price of petrol is horrendous."
"I always feel very tired after I have been for dialysis," he said. "But you feel better the next day.
"Things are what they are. I am grateful. I like watching sport and listening to music. I still have a life to live."