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