Four people, Peter with Judy and Mike

Peter+DM-P small

Peter+DM-P small

 

 

Peter is 46 years old and lives at home with his mother, Judy, on the edge of the moors. At the age of 13 he suffered a brain haemorrhage and fell into a coma. For 15-months he was in hospital with Judy keeping vigil by his bedside.

She read and talked to him in the hope that he might hear her voice. He did.

Although he remains physically and mentally impaired, Peter can walk, talk and share laughter with friends. Hemiplegia still severely limits the physical and mental capacity on one side of his body. His right eye can see only a small amount of light. The vision in his left is blurred, but the upper right quadrant can see with glasses.

This is the eye of the Peter who observes you, who is both mysterious and wise.

Most people who meet Peter see only his severe disability. It took me four years to realise he was communicating with me. He uses fragments of poems, songs, literature, and schoolboy French, stored when he was boy, to answer questions or express his feelings.

When I ask “How are you today?”, he replies using a Beatle’s song “It’s been a hard day’s night . . .” Having learnt to decipher the code, I am now able to communicate with him.

In our conversations and photographic sessions over many years, he has taught me that there is much more to Peter than meets the eye. There is disabled Peter and there is the Peter who is much more than his disability.