Designer Nate Berkus spent eight years helping guests on The Oprah Show decorate their homes, but perhaps his most memorable show appearance was in January 2005, when he returned to Oprah's stage just two weeks after surviving an unimaginable tragedy. Nate was vacationing in Sri Lanka with his partner, Fernando Bengoechea, when the 2004 tsunami hit. The natural disaster claimed the lives of more than 400 people, and while Nate survived, Fernando did not.
Nate shares his horrific ordeal
An internationally acclaimed photographer, Fernando's work appeared in major magazines including O, The Oprah Magazine. From celebrities to gorgeous interiors, exotic locations and wonderful portraits of humanity, Fernando captured spirit and beauty.
"I want to keep saying [Fernando's] name out loud because I think it's important for everybody who's lost their life, for their life to be more than that moment of death," Oprah said when Nate opened up about his tragic loss. "[Fernando's] work and his art will live on for everybody who he filmed; for everybody whose life he touched. We get to see him through his work forever."