Syndicated via The Argus

In the 60s, described as the ‘greatest pharmaceutical disaster in history’, the Thalidomide morning-sickness pill tragically changed the lives of many families.

I am View Full

Disability is a form of oppression in our society where we focus on impairments rather than potential.

Living with a disability myself inspired me to explore ideas through documentary practice in an attempt to reach a broader audience.

Using new media, sculpture and photographic imagery, ‘i am’ allows me to communicate my anger, my compassion and the responsibility I feel to the Thalidomide and Disabled Communities.

I met Trish back in 1974 when we both were patients at Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane. We both had similar heart complications. As a child, I never really thought much about Trish’s disability. We would sit on the bed in the ward and play cards and I was amazed that Trish could deal the cards with her feet ! We formed a close bond and I visited Trish’s home in Chermside on several occasions over those early years.
As we got older and my family moved away, we lost contact but I never forgot Trish. Years later, as adults, we reconnected in Brisbane and have been in contact ever since. Trish not only had to overcome the similar heart conditions that I had but she also had to deal with the disability caused by Thalidomide.
Since reconnecting, we have both had valve replacements, Trish received a Porcine valve while I received a Bovine valve and up until recently we even had the same Cardiologist, Dr Dorothy Radford, looking after us.
We are both survivors and she is an inspiration.

- Michael Matthews

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

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