Jim Eyre: You might never be the person you were

  • Photography and words  Jim Eyre

You might never be the person you were, the doctor said. A wave of questions flooded through my mind. Will I be the person I was? Do I want to be that person? Moving forward I refuse to let this define me. I wish it hadn’t happened, but it did. And what if the worst day of my life turns out to be the best day of my life?
Going running was “me time”. It put me in a positive space, ready for the day and all that being a husband and dad of four children throws at you. Leaving early was my routine. 4:30AM, stretch, water, and out the door by 5:00. At 5:05AM on September 6, 2018 I had a stroke. I collapsed on the street. I tried to get up but could not due to paralysis. A final attempt to move left me with my right arm twisted behind my back. I laid still and calmly slipped into an unconscious state. After an hour a passing woman saved me. I was rushed to Hospital and a blood clot was removed from my brain.

Then the hopelessness of my situation became real. I could not speak or move. Was this the beginning of what my life would become? I felt horror at the thought of being bed ridden. I had endless questions and fears.

The documenting of my healing began when a friend brought in an old film camera to hospital and put it in my hand. With no idea, if I was able to shoot, I accepted this kind gesture. The prospect of photographing was intimidating, but also provided hope against the fear of what was ahead. Since the stroke, a period of healing has passed. My mind, physical ability, and outlook on my future have moved on. I wonder if the pictures were meant to be my way of reclaiming “Me”.
The documenting of my healing began when a friend brought in an old film camera to hospital and put it in my hand. With no idea, if I was able to shoot, I accepted this kind gesture. The prospect of photographing was intimidating, but also provided hope against the fear of what was ahead. Since the stroke, a period of healing has passed. My mind, physical ability, and outlook on my future have moved on. I wonder if the pictures were meant to be my way of reclaiming “Me”.
These images from a single roll of film, are a window to the new world that “might never be the person you were” saw in the first days after a stroke. I still face challenges, but I have hope. And hope is the most beautiful of all things. I see a future and maybe that was the plan for me all along. Since the stroke, I continue to adjust and deal with the fact that “I might never be the person I was.”

This project was supported by The Stroke Association.