Together is a photography project in collaboration with my 6 year old heart warrior, Kane. Throughout Kane’s life I have photographed his medical journey and written from my perspective, but as he has gotten older I have felt it is not just my story to tell. Together is a diptych project involving both my perspective and Kane’s perspective.
One of the ways I prepared for Kane’s recent heart surgery was by packing cameras. I obviously had my own, but I also brought a couple of options for him. This first series of images are from Kane’s pre-admission clinic on the Friday before his surgery. During pre-admission clinic Kane had to get a couple of chest x-rays. We killed some time in the waiting room by taking photos of each other and then Kane got a shot of what the x-ray machine looks like from his perspective.
The following is a quote from my original Together post last May…
My hope is Together will highlight all the positive impacts the Stollery Children’s Hospital has had on our lives. Our Stollery experiences have taught us about strength, resilience, and hope. Our Stollery experiences have taught us how to celebrate successes and manage challenges. Our Stollery experiences have shown us just how amazing the staff, volunteers, families and, most importantly, the Stollery kids are.
I couldn’t say it any better now after our most recent experience at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Not everything went as expected, but we are so thankful for all the amazing people at the Stollery.
These diptychs (above and below) were made on the day of surgery. While Kane was having his operation Harrison, Uncle Brendan and I went to the nearest Canadian Blood Services branch and donated blood. Kane got a shot of the nurse testing out the numbing cream on me. And when Kane was heading in to the operating room, he asked me to go with him, but he was sure to tell Daddy that next time would be his turn…and Daddy did get to go the next time.
As you can imagine Kane wasn’t interested in taking photos during his days recovering in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) or when he was moved down to 4C, the Cardiology unit. But making photos during that time was one of my self care strategies.
This selfie and the photo op for Dad were taken on September 28th, the day Kane was discharged for home. Kane went home six days after heart surgery and just three days after getting his pacemaker.
These last images were taken at Kane’s 10 day follow-up echo. We managed to time our appointment to when Charlene was there with hear cart and Kane caught up on his Treasure Life beads. Each one of those beads represents a procedure, an IV, a surgery, a part of Kane’s story.
I haven’t made it through all of my photos from Kane’s time in hospital. But each time I open up Lightroom to edit photos or search for a particular image, I am taking another step forward. Every time I create a blog post I am finding the words to process how I am feeling. Each time I read a comment from a Wolfe Pack Warrior I smile. I hope these images and words will support Kane, too. Your images and words have supported me.
Together we learn.
Together we heal.