Open Hearts

Mickey/Mom, who turns 88 this Valentine’s Day, just had open heart surgery at Portland’s OHSU. The week she was there was the big snowstorm, so I wasn’t on hand to take any of these iPhotos–I just received them via text mostly from my sister Toren Brolutti, who also collected the information about each person.

This is really a slide show to music with titles. I slowed the pacing down to senior pacing, so Mom could both read the words and look at the pictures.

I believe that making story out of experience somehow honors it, validates it, elevates it above the medial/menial quotidian moment. I want the workers at OHSU to know that their work is valued, that their lives intersect and affect the lives of their patients, and I wanted to give my Mom a tool, if you can call a video a tool, rather a means of offering her appreciation to all the people who worked together to give her the proverbial new lease on life.

6 thoughts on “Open Hearts

  1. Alan Levine says:

    Mickey/Mom has such a warm big smile, and I would guess a great spirit. How fortunate the surgery went well and she was surrounded in love from family and genuine care givers. I really like how you highlighted their role and who they were.

    A masterpiece.

    But that doesn’t look like that much snow!

  2. Kinga Biro says:

    What a touching tribute to the staff who took care of Mickey. Through it all Mickey’s smile lights up the ward, a heartwarming success story…I remember the unwavering support I received from the entire staff in the intensive heart and stroke ward when my mom suffered her fatal stroke, and I had to make the decision to forgo heroic measures as per her specific instructions in her living will. The staff encircled me out in the hall outside my mom’s room as we studied the results of the MRI and saw the devastating results. I was alone dealing with all this; Burt was away at a conference, my sister was at home in Italy, and my mom’s best friend had not yet arrived. The staff were wonderful, caring, and gentle. My mom was in good hands like your mom. Thanks.

  3. Rose Meeker says:

    This is so heartwarming! A really wonderful memento of how to surround a major surgery with a huge golden glow. Each person played their part so fully and beautifully.

    Thanks for sharing this experience.

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