“I am changed for having happened upon your story. Eleven years ago I had a severe toxic reaction to Zoloft and was stuporous for 18 months. My injuries are not as apparent as Jason’s; not as physically challenging. My family was too afraid to participate in my rehab and most of my friends. I hated doctors for telling me I would never be who I was and to set my goals lower. It is so important for someone to remember and carry who one is when one is seperated from that memory. All of your love, courage, faith helped me grow bigger than my self pity today. Language is inadequate. I wish I could send you music.”
“It was 1986 when I had a brain hemmorhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm. Mis-diagnosed in the E.R., my husband found me in a corner turning grey, bleeding to death. Ten hours of surgery ultimately saved my life, but it wasn’t expected that I’d live this long, nor this well. I don’t remember a lot of the early years, but I’ve managed to learn it. I was studied by my neurologist for a decade—he’d said he wanted to find out why I lived—until he died. But despite all the attention of the doctors, despite the rehab to teach me how to deal with the cognitive deficits and the psychological counselling to help me through the emotional turmoil over the loss of my identity, it was my husband who gave me the support I needed to get my “self” back. Our families were all on the east coast and pretty much stayed there. All that your family did, my hub did alone, until he died. And so for ten years now, I’m on my own, having defied the odds, having come back to where I once was…almost…but not quite, and yet somehow better. Nevertheless, I’ll never stop wondering whether my hub would still be alive today if he’d had his own support. Thank you for doing what you’re doing. I know how much it will help people.”
“My husband Scott is a New York City jazz guitarist. Shortly after the release of his duo album “Ripples” in November 2008 he was diagnosed with the return of non-hodgkins lymphoma. We were told to put everything aside because his treatment would require all of our strength and attention. He went through two rounds of chemo to achieve remission. Then, his stem cells were harvested in preparation for an autologous stem cell transplant. He had the transplant in February with a grueling 5 weeks in hospital. Two weeks later the lymphoma returned in his neck. He immediately started radiation to the left area of his neck and endured 22 treatments. As I write this I am sitting by his bedside in Cornell hospital where he was transported after passing out and hitting his head. Throughout the month of June he had recurrent episode of mind-numbing pain and fainting. The doctors couldn’t figure it out. Because he’s lost over 50 lbs they thought perhaps dehydration and malnutrition was causing the problem. He is now awaiting a pacemaker because it was discovered that the radiated mass in his neck is pressing on his carotid artery causing his heart to slow and even stop. He has been confined to his hospital bed in one position for over a week awaiting the pacemaker. First the doctors needed to remove an infected port. Today his blood pressure plunged dangerously low and the procedure has yet again been postponed. Throughout we have been surrounded by a community of family, friends, musicians and students offering support, love, food, rides and a shoulder to cry on. We can’t see the end yet but Jason’s story gives us the glimmer of hope we need to keep going.”
As a physician I have seen many patients at Jason’s acute point. Seeing the family struggle with that sense of hopelessness, anger, doubt and hope and not being able to console them; it takes its toll on a young physician more than one thinks. Being able to see this synopsis of this journey was certainly one of the most touching and inspiring event for me. It shows the strength of family and of human character. Good luck Jason and thank you for the inspiration.
First, the story, in this case the soul-stirring saga of one man’s return from the brink of annihilation; then the man himself, whom the filmmakers allow us to know, it would seem, firsthand; then the remarkable facilities and caregivers; then — oh my God — the family. As a career caregiver myself, I can say only occasionally have I witnessed a family rally to the rescue as this one does — indeed, seldom have I seen a patient saved from so bleak a prognosis. All due to a ferocity of intention and will. Hats off to them all — and of course to Jason, without whose indomitable spirit no such miracle would have transpired. ALSO kudos to the filmmakers, who offered up an intimate depiction the likes of which only comes along every so many years. By turns moving and hypnotic (great music, too, btw!), the film is what I call “a Keeper”. I can’t wait to catch an encore presentation.
To read more reactions and reviews, visit the Life. Support. Music. overview page.