[Warning: The pictures on this blog post may be disturbing to some people, as they show a living heart and blood. If you believe you are gonna be afected by them please just look at my face in the surgery room, that you can see above, and feel free to read on, as the images are only gonna be way below that.]
My "dayjob" with Just News consists mostly of covering medical events, taking portraits of doctors and nurses, and photographing interviews. Somedays I also do photos for news articles about medical centers or hospital services.
That day in December, I had been called to photograph the cardiology service of Santa Maria Hospital, in Lisbon. It was only when I got there that the reporter told that I was to shoot a sugery after a few interviews. I confess, I panicked a bit internally. I had been in a surgery room before, but for simple interventions that consisted mostly of big needles and little tubes going into people, not open chest surgery! So you can understand my relief when the first doctor we interviewed said we'd rather have us photograph the surgery he was gonna do 2 days after that.
Phew. But only for some minutes. The third doctor we interviewed remembered that right that very moment there was a very interesting surgery going on so we need to go now. Now? Right now, before it ends. Gulp.
Altough I was a little afraid of reacting badly to seeing someone's heart, I belived I probably could handle it. Based only on the fact that I saw a friend get injured when I was a kid and didn't panic. And also because I see a lot of scary gory movies. So I got the scrubs on and went into the room and...
It was the most normal thing ever. It almost didn't look real because the only thing that wasn't covered was that bit so it didn't looked like a person was there. I ended up spending two hours there, chatting to the nurses and photographing them working and what the surgeon asked me to. I took more photos of the procedure itself, but that has more scientific interest to doctors. I sent some of those photos to the surgeon so he could show other surgeons what he does.
I have fun telling people that when I left there I was hungry. I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast and it was lunch time, so it is perfectly normal. But I like to see the faces people pull. That was one of the more surprising "last minute" photo shoots I ever did, and this shows that if you don't get too stressed out about it, you can pull some nice photos from inexpected circumstances.
Note: These photos have the Just News logo because I took them while working for Just News.