Towards Recovery

It was a typical Wednesday morning until I received that call. About 10:43am my iPhone rang. It was my mother calling to notify me that that my father had to stay at the hospital and have a neurosurgery consult.

I was instantly shocked with disbelief as my father is as healthy as a horse. He’s 69 years old but he’s the kind of man that hasn’t slowed despite having been retired since 65. It turns out my father had been having some slight headaches on the right side of his head for the last few months and he really didn’t think much of them.

As a family, we were all going through a trying time as my uncle, my father’s younger brother, had been battling cancer for about a year already and he simply attributed the headaches to stress. But my mother, always one to be top of things had requested a doctor’s appointment so that my father would go and get an MRI. To the surprise of everyone, the radiologist that interpreted the MRI said my father couldn’t go home and he must go see Neurosurgery immediately. My father had been diagnosed with a “subdural hematoma”.

I suppose we need to define subdural hematoma. A subdural hematoma is bleeding between the space that divides the cranium and the actual brain.

And thus began our two week odyssey with my father’s surgery. The neurosurgeon had determined that my father needed surgery as soon as possible because the bleeding had actually displaced the brain from its usual postion (midline shift) and the only treatment possible at this juncture of the trauma was brain surgery. What you see below is my visual story as I documented the whole event.


All images shot with the Fuji XE1 and XF 35mm & XF 18-55mm straight from the heart

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26 responses to Towards Recovery

  1. António Marques

    You did well in sharing this story… it lightens the burden, I guess.
    Sorry for the circumstances and wish a fast and sound recovery.
    All the best.

    • Jorge Ledesma Post Author

      Thanks Antonio, I just felt like I needed to vent a little and the camera proved to be the right tool. Thanks for chiming in. Cheers.

  2. John Hovius

    As I also have a parent in the hospital I find your images particularly poignant. Best wishes for your father, and may he have a speedy recovery.

    • Jorge Ledesma Post Author

      Thanks John, I appreciate your comment. Yes, he’s well on his way to a full recovery. He just got scanned today again and he’s 95% back to normal.

  3. Kevin Mullins

    An amazing & poigniant story Jorge. Well done for the documentary of such a difficult period. I wish your father all the best with his recovery.

  4. Rafael García

    Top class documentary series. Really mean it
    There’s lots of heart warmth in every single shot.
    En Madrid se piensa en ti y en los tuyos con afecto y los mejores deseos. Un abrazo

  5. Fujifilm Documentary Photography: Towards Recov...

    […] It was a typical Wednesday morning until I received that call. About 10:43am my iPhone rang. It was my mother calling to notify me that that my father had to stay at the hospital and have a neurosu…  […]

  6. Fujifilm Documentary Photography: Towards Recov...

    […] It was a typical Wednesday morning until I received that call. About 10:43am my iPhone rang. It was my mother calling to notify me that that my father had to stay at the hospital and have a neurosurgery consult. I was instantly shocked with disbelief as my father is as healthy as a horse. He’s 69 years old but he’s the kind of man that hasn’t slowed despite having been retired since 65. It turns out my father had been having some slight headaches on the right side of his head for the last few months and really didn’t much of them. As a family, we were all going through a trying time as my uncle, my father’s younger brother, had been battling cancer for about a year already and he simply attributed the headaches to stress. But my mother, always one to be top of things had requested a doctor’s appointment so that my father would go and get an MRI. To the surprise of everyone, the radiologist that interpreted the MRI said my father couldn’t go home and he must go see Neurosurgery immediately. My father had been diagnosed with a “subdural hematoma”. I suppose we need to define subdural hematoma. A subdural hematoma is bleeding between the space that divides the cranium and the actual brain…….  […]

  7. John A Fleming

    Jorge: many thanks for sharing this personal travail, along with your fine photos. All my prayers for a complete and speedy recovery for your father.

  8. 35mmstreet

    Fantastic work Jorge. Real personal stuff, but so well documented. Sometimes it’s harder to pick up a camera when the story is your own family.
    All the best to your dad…he looks as strong as an ox!

    Derek.

  9. pedro infantas (@pedroinphoto)

    Jorge:
    Gracias por compartir tu vision de este proceso. Imagino que el hecho de trabajar las fotos ha traido una carga emocional muy fuerte.
    La imagen de quien presumo es tu madre con tu padre es encantadora y tierna.

    Un abrazo

  10. frank weir

    jorge…i think thats actually a straight forward surgical procedure and thank goodness the bleed was discovered! When they happen more quickly and heavilly it is very deadly I think. So in some ways your family was fortunate! Wonderful photo reportage as always!!

    • Jorge Ledesma Post Author

      Thank you Frank, yes we were lucky to catch in time but it was super tough. Anytime you drill into anything, especially the brain its a tough cookie to handle. Thankfully we had a great empathetic Neurosurgeon that was a true all-star.

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