Ten years ago at the age of 21, I underwent a procedure that saved my life. A kidney transplant. My father donated one of his kidneys to someone that neither of us knew for me to receive a healthy organ, from another party in return. Before that, I spent the majority of my life gradually progressing towards undetected renal failure which is ultimately what led me to a brief stint of dialysis and then the transplant.
During a worldwide pandemic such as the one we currently find ourselves in right now, that very procedure and the medications I take daily to ensure its success, put me in a very vulnerable place. A place that is similar to so many others that are immunosuppressed and at risk at a time like this.
Because of these somewhat defining experiences that come with a procedure such as an organ transplant, I have an appreciation for what living with a compromised immune system means. I also have an appreciation for how this daily challenge affects those closest to me, especially at a time like this.
I wake up suddenly, night after night, with a new level of anxiety, thinking about whether or not I am going to get COVID-19, and if I do, what will it be like? Will I be able to fight it off and beat it? Or will I be dead in five days, similar to stories that I have read, because of my compromised immune system?
Meet Me At The Stairs is a profile piece that features my wife, an essential emergency worker for Toronto EMS. We’ve been living in isolation from each other for 46 days and even though we are still living in the same house, being so close but still so far comes with its own set of challenges.
Created during lockdown, the film explores the anxiety that comes with being an essential worker during a worldwide pandemic and coping with the sacrifices you must make to keep your family members safe.
The film is dedicated to my wife and all essential workers that are making a sacrifice during this uncertain time.
Colour by Ana Escorse
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