the power of love.
i recently had the opportunity to do more photography for the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) – an amazing medical rehabilitation network that provides outstanding care + service to thousands of patients. through working with NRH i have documented amazing stories of recovery and gained incredible insight into the human spirit. however, nothing could have prepared me for the truly amazing story of gene + margie.
almost 5 years ago gene + margie’s world was turned upside down. in may 2004 gene stepped on a carpet tack while renovating his home – a minor incident that, within two weeks, triggered a series of severe medical problems. blood poisoning and hemorrhagic stroke put gene was in grave danger. he was septic, and underwent surgery to have breathing and feeding tubes inserted. doctors estimated gene’s chance of survival at a mere 5%.
his wife margie refused to listen to the countless doctors and family who told her that there was no chance for gene. even if he did survive, they warned he would likely never recover. margie remained strong and completely devoted herself to caring for her husband. after 6 weeks in the ICU, gene spent 6 months in a rehabilitation hospital where he battled seizures, kidney failure, internal bleeding, heart irregularities and other complications. when he was stable enough to be released from the hospital, margie ignored suggestions to place gene in a nursing home. she decided to care for him herself and took him home.
after transforming their home and her life to care for her husband, margie began to see her efforts pay off as gene made slow, steady progress. when margie realized gene needed further therapy to fully recover, she turned to NRH. although he was still unable to speak and confined to a wheelchair, gene began physical, occupational + speech therapy twice a week at the NRH regional rehab center near their home. the superior care from the center combined with margie’s tough love and dedication resulted in a truly miraculous outcome. gene began walking, eating, and speaking. he overcame all the odds that science deemed nearly impossible because of his perserverence, NRH’s expertise, and ultimately, margie’s love.
gene continues to improve and struggles to regain his strength and speech. however, his ability to laugh, to smile and to love are stronger today than ever.
to me, margie and gene are inspiring beyond words. it was a true privilege to meet them and to hear their story – it gave me a deeper understanding of what love and marriage is truly about. i have such great admiration and respect for margie’s incredible self-sacrifice and enduring hope. her unbreakable spirit is remarkable. the afternoon i spent with this couple left a lasting impact on me. i am in complete awe of their fantastic attitude and resilience when faced with such tragedy, and i am transfixed by the power of their truly immeasurable love. margie + gene are proof that love can conquer all.
anyone who has ever doubted the power of love needs to meet this couple.
margie + gene.
margie helps gene as he practices balance on the ball.
gene proudly shows off his muscles as he begins to regain his athletic build.
their three cats have been a great comfort to gene during his recovery.