Today, I travelled across country to Westgate-on-Sea to meet Jess. Jess is an absolutely amazing person. She has been waiting 4 years for a double lung transplant and has had 7 false alarms!! She is so strong and determined to help raise awareness of organ donation. Her photo shoot was very different to Gabrysia's on Tuesday. At a first glance at Gabrysia you may see nothing out of the ordinary. It is only when you look more closely that you see the blue tinge on the lips and greyness in her face. It is not so subtle with Jess. She is attached to a machine or a tank providing her with oxygen every minute of every day and needs a machine to help her to breathe deeply enough to stay alive while she is asleep. Jess was keen that I captured exactly what life is like for her as she battles to beat end stage cystic fibrosis and stay well enough to have that transplant. Early on in the photo shoot, Jess had a big coughing fit. Naturally, I stopped shooting but she motioned to me to carry on and photograph her.
We carried on the shoot in the same way and the result is a powerful set of hard hitting images that show how life is for Jess and others like her battling cystic fibrosis and waiting for lung transplants. The more I got to know Jess and her Dad, the more I could see the spirit that has kept Jess on the winning side of that battle for 4 years. I hope that has been captured in the images as well. I think the very fact that Jess not only allowed, but encouraged the kind of pictures that were taken is testimony to that. Do have a look at them in the gallery. I am going to have a hard job deciding which of those to use in the exhibition.