six years ago viral encephalitis attacked my mother’s brain.
it erased the past decade from her mind and left her short-term memory severely compromised; she remembers moments for only minutes after they occur. today, at age 52, her life is largely dictated by a daily journal deemed “the book”, she receives therapy in a hyperbaric chamber and lives a life where she is acutely aware of a once more complete existence. in the united states, statistics assert that 300 people per year are diagnosed with encephalitis. of those 300 cases 70% are fatal. my mother was incredibly fortunate to survive. with that said, her life will never again be what she once knew; with a full-time caretaker, a house filled with post-it notes and a vague recollection of her former life, it is an existence that few can relate to or understand.
i am the eldest of four siblings and my mother’s illness has affected each of us, as well as my father, in its own way. these images allow a glimpse into our story — a story not of tragedy but one of a family being fractured by life’s unexpected adversities and the fight to overcome and become whole again.
as a photographer — one who believes in the power of images and words — i have been compelled, over the past year, to document our story. it is raw, personal and one whose ending has yet to be told.