My father, locked in his body but soaring free

Published on Oct 19, 2014

At TEDMED, photographer Kitra Cahana shares a new visual language accompanying the extraordinary story of her father’s severe brainstem stroke, a catastrophe that transforms into an inspiring and imaginative spiritual journey.

What motivated you to speak at TEDMED?

It’s very difficult to express the sublime and the surreal in words and photographs. I wanted to attempt to communicate all that my family had experienced in the summer of 2011 – my father’s brain stem stroke, and the profound spiritual awakening that followed – with others. When my father first had his stroke, I wrote down these words, and whispered them to him when I first came to his bedside: “We only ever needed one pair of hands, two legs, a respiratory system to keep the world afloat between us.” This became my mantra. We can sustain ourselves through each other. This is what my father taught us; he said that all who came into his room of healing should expect to be healed themselves. Healing has to be mutual.

The stroke ruptured my reality as well as his. In those initial months, so devoted to his limp body and to allowing him to communicate all that was bursting to [...] continue the story

Fight the stroke

About #fightthestroke is a documentary that tells the story of a child who suffered a stroke at birth. Together with his parents, this boy wants to answer the question of what would happen if, instead of trying to fix something that is broken, we focused our attention on what already works? #fightthestroke is a project by: Familydan.org and Shoot4Change, Francesca, Mario and Roberto D’Angelo, Andrea Ruggeri – ARE YOU SERIES is a Milano Film Festival project, made thanks to the support of Banca Prossima. Find out more at www.areyouseries.com

Marking the Distance

 

When Gweneviere Mann lost her short-term memory, following surgery to remove a brain tumor, she was forced to navigate life in a new way. But she wasn’t alone. With the support of her boyfriend, Yasir Salem, Gweneviere found she could tackle the challenges her condition threw her way—and a few more.

Funding Provided by:

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

National Endowment for the Arts

In partnership with POV.

 

Directed by: The Rauch Brothers

Art Direction: Bill Wray

Producers: Lizzie Jacobs & Mike Rauch

Animation: Tim Rauch

Audio Produced by: Jasmyn Belcher & Michael Garofalo

Music: Fredrik

Label: The Kora Records

Publisher: House of Hassle

Painting Pain Art Gallery – Three

Breast Cancer Mastectomy

I am a woman thru and thru. I am not defined by the size of my breast. I am sexy with an A cup or a D cup. I am sexy even with only 1 breast. I feel beautiful, therefore I am beautiful. A womans beauty comes from within and not from what is on the outside. I am beautiful, see me shine, I still have one left behind, a woman I am until the end, even though I am not a ten, my beauty is here, it’s now within, I am a woman till the end. Poem by: Nancy Crowell

Laura’s Foot This morning I woke somewhere between 6:00 and 6:30 AM. I do not know the reason I woke. I had only been “asleep” for about five hours, maybe less. I went to “bed” at just about 11:30 PM. I cannot see in the mornings, so everything was a myriad of light and dark, without color. I cannot hear normal sounds in the morning. I only hear a combination of ocean roar, antique radio and television static and my own heartbeat as loud as Poe’s Telltale heart. I lay there on my bed staring up, as even rolling over to get out of bed can take ten [...] continue the story

Painting Pain Art Gallery – Two

Paintings by Heather Bolinder Crushing Spine

This was my very first pain painting.  This is how my back feels, like two hammers are crushing down hard on it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pins and Needles

Many back pain patients get this feeling in their legs if they have a nerve/disc issues.  Feels like the pins and needles are stabbing you all over your legs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob’s Stroke

This painting was inspired by a chronic pain patient, that I have known for years, Bob.  His stroke happened two years ago and he is still adjusting to his new life.  The right side of his face feels like an empty space, is what Bob described to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant Legs

A Painting where your legs feels extremely heavy, making it hard to move or walk. Many pain patients will tell you this is how their legs feels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ponygirl

This painting was inspired by Ellen.  She is a chronic pain suffer and was thrown from her pony.  She use to be an avid hiker, but now feels the pain of nails going into her neck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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