Today’s talk is about surviving a brutal attack, and the extraordinary skill of the surgeons who saved Ed Gavagan’s life. It’s a remarkable story, but there is much more to it. Ed originally told part of the story at The Moth, a wonderful group devoted to true stories, told live on stage. In many ways The Moth is similar to TED — at TED people get on stage to talk about their ideas, at The Moth they’re invited on stage to share a true, personal story from their lives.
Ed’s story has been legendary at The Moth. For years he worked with the artistic team to develop the story, and has told it in several pieces which add up the whole picture (watch the video embedded below). Below, we asked The Moth’s artistic director, Catherine Burns, to tell us about working with Ed, and how knowing him has enabled unexpected connections.
I first met Ed Gavagan in 2007. I was attending a Moth StorySLAM, one of our open storytelling competitions, and he was one of the last names picked. Each event has a theme, and the theme that night was “Rescue”. He told a story that has now become a Moth classic, [...] continue the story
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
I replayed his words over and over…and over. I looked straight ahead and saw nothing; the room was a blur of colour. I felt faint. It was the most dreamlike feeling. In that moment I was so aware of everything I was doing; it was as if I could only blink in slow motion. It was beyond surreal. My heart sank. I could hear my unsteady breathing. I could feel my chest as if it was rising a mile each time I took a breath. If the doctor continued to speak, I heard nothing. I was completely and utterly numb.
I felt my heart beat pound in my ears and I felt the blood drain from my face. The tears came and I could not stop them.
I looked intently at the faces of my parents. Both seemed to be in disbelief, gazing into an ethereal cloud of reality that had just dawned upon us. I wish I could have known what they were both thinking at that very moment.
I’m sure no parent ever wants to be told that their seventeen year old daughter has cancer.
I looked out the window into the brilliant sun. The clouds seemed to [...] continue the story