Visual Storyteller Gaia Calcagni Merlini is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From project ‘Anna‘.
Earlier this year, probably around February, a friend told me she was working as a carer for a lady met on the street. I was instantly interested in meeting this woman. I can’t recall exactly why I thought that this lady must be a special human being, maybe because of my mindset, for which someone with a disability is a scared person who would fear to invite a stranger into their homes or maybe because of my friend telling me about her crazy love for animals or who knows why, I couldn’t wait to meet her in person.
I went to Anna’s place a couple of times and we found ourselves talking quite passionately about our lives, sharing a glass of wine and laughing over tragedies.
I decided to document her daily struggles after knowing about all the battles she has had with the council. Following the Polio she had when very young, her health started to deteriorate to the point she was forced to use a wheelchair and spend most of her time in bed since her late twenties. Several problems related to her bowel often don’t allow her to go out and all the medicine she has to take every day add more side effects to the existing problems.
She has been waiting three years for the first referral and has decided to hire a solicitor who hasn’t proved quite helpful so far. She feels vulnerable and in danger when alone but she is only allowed up to 6-hour care support a day. Despite being an ironic and funny person, she often feels suicidal and sad. For what I have seen, this sense of despair would be less invasive with the right kind of support and help.