The Photographer

A young man sets out on a quest to capture the perfect photograph. In the summer of 2005, I was involved in a severe car accident that left me paralyzed from the waist down. Upon waking up in the ICU, one face was staring back at me; my father’s. For the next month, my father had the nurses on duty wheel a chair into my room every single night, and that’s where he’d be until I opened my eyes in the morning.

Seven years since that fateful day in June, my father remains my biggest supporter. After more than two years in a wheelchair, I finally defied the odds and became vertical once more. I know deep within myself that this improbable recovery has a great deal to do with my father. And ‘The Photographer’ is my way of expressing  my gratitude. My father, the most reliable human being I’ve ever known.

Ara Sagherian

Writer and Director of the short film ‘The Photographer’ (2012)

The Patient, The Person at the Center of my Care

By Maria McClatchie, RN

In October, I will be running the Chicago marathon.  I’m not a runner, but was inspired by my friend, Richard, to join the SCIS (Spinal Cord Injury Sucks) team and commit to raise money for spinal cord injury cure research, as well as awareness of the devastation that spinal cord injuries can cause.

Unfortunately, I am running not only in honor of Richard, but in memory of him, as Richard passed from complications of quadriplegia last February.

I was part of the care team who got to know Richard during the months he spent at OU Medical center following a spinal cord injury which left him paralysed from the chest down.  He shared with me  the things he loved before his injury, how he lived an active and full life while teaching others to do the same. 

I’d like to share with you this short story about Richard and what may be learned from the patient who is  at the center of our care.

Richard was admitted to the Trauma ICU May 5th 2010 following a bike accident which fractured his neck and injured his spinal cord. I remember the first two days with him very clearly. Naturally he was [...] continue the story

Melissa & Case Hogan share with Patient Commando

In 2009, my then 2-year old son Case was diagnosed with a rare disease called Hunter Syndrome. It is a progressive and degenerative disease that attacks all of the body systems and usually leads to lifespan of only 12-15 years old.

Later that year, he was in the hospital for several procedures including tonsil removal and the placement of a port-a-cath for weekly infusions. It was after these surgeries that he ended up in the PICU because of airway problems. Those were incredibly sobering days. But, you can’t live with sadness 24-hours a day, even in the PICU.

After several days in the PICU, when it seemed as if Case was on the upswing, I collected my “30 Pieces of Hospital Wisdom.” It was that return to writing after the emotional time of his initial diagnosis that would later lead me to start a blog chronicling his journey, www.savingcase.com. Here is my wisdom:

Packing only one change of clothes does not actually make for a shorter hospital stay. Socks don’t really start smelling until you’ve worn them for the third day. Not the second, the third. You really can curl your hair using a compact mirror propped on top of a soap dispenser. Curling your hair while listening [...] continue the story