Seconds before William Lopez (pictured below) was set to be connected to a dialysis machine at a state-run clinic in the western Venezuelan city of Maracaibo in April, the power went out.
Missing dialysis treatment, which removes toxins that build up in the blood of people who suffer kidney failure, leaves Lopez feeling dizzy and nauseous. Like any chronic kidney patient, he could die if he goes too long without treatment.
Unable to complete his treatment that day, Lopez had little choice but to return home.
When he arrived, the power was out there as well.
"The impotence that I feel makes me want to cry," said Lopez, 45, one of 11,000 Venezuelans whose dialysis treatment has been thrown into disarray by a wave of blackouts in the oil-rich but crisis-stricken South American country.
"Some people go to sleep while they are in treatment. I do not, because I am scared I will never wake up."
"I should have been born rich to be able to buy myself a new kidney," said Aidalis Guanipa, 25, who lives with her 83-year-old grandmother in Maracaibo. They get by on her grandmother's pension and from sales of homemade sweets.
"I have not had dialysis for two days because there has been no electricity. I am scared. "