A Life Beyond

A FILM BY NIC ASKEW. MORE FILMS AT NICASKEW.COM

Throughout the world, families’ lives are changed immeasurably as a consequence of dementia. But as with all aspects of our seemingly complex lives, things are not what they seem.

It has always been possible to see the very same circumstance through the depth of a wiser gaze. Lives are transformed through such a gaze.

My hope is that Olga’s experience will change the very sight you place on your own circumstance. And in doing so, change that very circumstance.

Remember this film is metaphorical for whatever it is you are facing.

With thanks to the staff at Nursing Home Sanitas Residencial Puerta de Hierro, Madrid for their kind help during the shooting of this film. And for the way they model compassionate care.

More films by Nic Askew

Side by Side

A FILM BY NIC ASKEW. MORE FILMS AT NICASKEW.COM

Birgitte was concerned about her ability to express herself fully in the English language. Ironically she might well have articulated the very experience of compassionate care.

In the complex landscape of Schizophrenia, I imagine such care should not be absent. Care that is unconditional. Care that is full of hope and of possibility.

This film portrait is part of a Series on Schizophrenia made possible by Otsuka and Lundbeck.

More films by Nic Askew

Melissa’s Pregnancy

Melissa was 27-weeks pregnant when she found out that her baby had a serious genetic disorder. Her condition meant that the baby would not live long once born, if it survived the pregnancy.

Kenneth Schwartz Story

July 16, 1995 The Boston Globe Magazine

UNTIL LAST FALL, I had spent a considerable part of my career as a health-care lawyer, first in state government and then in the private sector. I came to know a lot about health-care policy and management, government regulations and contracts. But I knew little about the delivery of care. All that changed on November 7, 1994, when, at age 40 I was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. In the months that followed, I was subjected to chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and news of all kinds, most of it bad. It has been a harrowing experience for me and for my family. And yet, the ordeal has been punctuated by moments of exquisite compassion. I have been the recipient of an extraordinary array of human and humane responses to my plight. These acts of kindness — the simple human touch from my caregivers — have made the unbearable bearable.

• • • • • DURING SEPTEMBER and October of 1994, I made several visits to the outpatient clinic of a Boston teaching hospital for treatment of a persistent cough, low-grade fever, malaise, and weakness. The nurse practitioner diagnosed me as having atypical pneumonia and prescribed an antibiotic. Despite [...] continue the story

Courage, Hope, Music and the Will to Survive

In August of 2004, Jason Crigler, one of New York’s most sought-after guitarists, suffered an AVM brain hemorrhage while playing a show in Manhattan. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors told Jason’s family, “Even if he lives through the night, there won’t be much left of the man you know.”

Jason’s pregnant wife and the rest of his family refused to accept the dire prognosis. Convinced that Jason was “there,” his family mounted an intensive and intimate course of rehabilitation that would force Jason’s doctors to reconsider the factors that inspire recovery.

Jason and his sister Marjorie have developed a powerful multimedia presentation that explains how and why Jason recovered. Drawing on their unique, personal experience, they show how intense family involvement makes the difference in a positive recovery. While Marjorie speaks from the family’s point of view, Jason offers a survivor’s perspective on the challenges he faced.

For more information, visit www.defyingtheodds.net