Photos from inside Calgary’s COVID-19 wards

CALGARY — An emergency room physician is giving a glimpse inside Calgary’s frontline battle against COVID-19, capturing a side of the pandemic not easily accessible to Albertans.

Dr. Heather Patterson was granted access by Alberta Health Services to Calgary’s emergency departments, intensive care units and even COVID-19 wards for her photography project.

“These are real people with real stories”, Patterson told CTV News.

“I  hope that these photographs take us from statistics to a personal experience.”

COVID Calgary photos

Her focus is on workers- not just doctors and nurses- but other hospital employees like cleaners.

There’s also patients, including a man Patterson photographed recently in the ICU with his permission.

“He wasn’t able to speak with me as easily and so I spent most of the time speaking with his lovely wife . We were able to sit for 30 minutes and talk about who he is,” she said.

“That for me brings the personalization to the story. It helps me understand their experience so then when I take an image I can understand and give the truth of the story.”

COVID Calgary photos

Patterson has dabbled in photography but this is her first foray into medical photography.

She’s already spent six weeks doing double duty-  taking photos in her spare time and doing shifts in the ER.

COVID Calgary photos

“My intention is to tell what it looks like, feels like the humanity behind the care and some of those moments are tough to look at,” said Patterson, who has recently taken a sabbatical to focus on the photography project.

At the end of it she’d like to put together a book or an exhibit. Until then, she’s posting them to Instagram.

As of Friday, 796 Albertans with COVID-19 are in hospital.

COVID photos

Photos from Calgary's COVID wards

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