Why We Need To Share This Story Of Survival

The Caregiver's Perspective by Jennifer Jane

 Jenn & Eduardo preparing for wound care

Jenn & Eduardo preparing for wound care

If you are reading this you have probably already watched the trailer. There's only so much you can put into a trailer but the story is so much deeper and more complex.  It is a story of love, friendship, life and a struggle that will never truly go away. Much of the footage is extraordinarily tough to watch, it will make you cry, it will make you wonder… how did he survive? What kind of hunger for life does a person have to have to make it through such intense injuries? You will feel Eduardo’s profound sense of loss and, maybe, for your own. To watch images of catastrophic injury is tough, but it sets the stage for recovery, it allows you to truly see how far he has come over the past five years. Then there is footage that will make you cry because it is so beautiful, of friendship restored, skills regained, love re-found. There’s also so much happiness and laughter, I would love for those moments to be shared, and show that joy can still be found even when your whole life has collapsed around you.

 Eduardo and Jenn leaving Burn Trauma ICU

Eduardo and Jenn leaving Burn Trauma ICU

Every night, during Eduardo’s lengthy hospital stay, we would share stories with the medical team, we would laugh and truly immerse ourselves in wonderment at the cool adventures we had all been on. It was a reflection of ‘bedtime stories’ from our childhoods - without a doubt, a moment of joy. As Eduardo flirted with the edge of death through multiple surgeries and complications, our friendship blossomed - there was complete joy in those moments, we relished them. There was the joy of being next to someone that I care about, supporting him and knowing that when he woke with horrific nightmares I was there to comfort him. There was no bed for me at the hospital, so if I wanted to stay I had to sleep in a chair. The nurses would tuck me into my chair with warm blankets and chocolate milk - warm blankets, chocolate milk and a bedtime story, are you kidding me, that was an absolute moment of joy. I am a cat lover and Eduardo and I found hilarity in the fact that the years of observing my cats, and their love of awkward sleeping positions, would prepare me for this time, and somehow I slept very well curled up in my chair, by his bedside in ICU, for 48 nights. 

All of the footage we have from before, during and after his injury could just sit on my hard drives, but for a beautiful, honest story to be crafted it takes a full production team and a year of dedicated time. I am confident that this film will have a depth and honesty that is rarely seen, it will display the truth about the human condition, what it takes to get back up, no matter how scared you maybe. This is not just a survival story, but an exploration of what life is. The injury and survival set the stage, they catalyze the story, but what lies beneath is so much more - something that I believe is worth sharing, an exploration of people, who we are, what we can handle and what we will do to take back this wonderful thing we call life.

 Eduardo & Jenn today

Eduardo & Jenn today

Eduardo has been covered a lot in the media but his true story is glossed over, they market him like some Hollywood hero who was injured and bounced back immediately. I was by his side every step of the way, and although he bounced back, it was not immediate and it was most definitely not easy. I find this misrepresentation disturbing as I feel that it minimizes what he has dealt with and, more importantly, miscommunicates what recovery looks like to anyone else struggling with their own recovery. The fact is that getting to where he is now was an unrelenting and hellacious journey, emotionally and physically - the raw footage and honest interviews will reflect this. It is hard to get back up, for anyone. The difference with Eduardo is that he tackled it all head on, he did not stop trying. For sure, we have been told multiple times by health professionals that 'if more people had an attitude towards recovery like Eduardo they would be able to save more people' - that is what we want to share, showcase and, hopefully, instill in others as they take the painful steps to regain their lives.

People of all ages have already been inspired by Eduardo, but the documentary has the opportunity to inspire more people on a deeper level and, more importantly, could help people find the motivation to pick themselves back up after a major traumatic event.