Saturday, November 20, 2010

11.06.10 - The First Visit

My good friend and fellow photographer Rachael Elizabeth Short was a passenger in a car accident in Big Sur, California on Halloween night. She injured three of her vertebrae and was rushed in a helicopter to the hospital. If you ask the doctors they say that she will never walk again. So we are not asking the doctors. We are thinking good positive thoughts and listening to those who believe Rachael will be dancing again sooner than later.

Rachael requested that I come and visit with my camera because she wanted her recovery to be documented. It is an honor to be able to help a friend share their story.

I arrived on November 6th at the Stanford waiting room. It was filled with friends, family, and a few flowers even though they were not allowed. Everyone was visiting with each other, getting updates from doctors and waiting for the next visiting hour to begin.

The nurse told me to wait to take pictures because she had to call her boss to make sure it was ok. When she was just outside the room Rachael looked at me and because she couldn't speak she mouthed, "Shoot now." We were thinking the same thing, that they might not allow photos to be taken, so we should just document what we could before the nurse returned. It put my nerves at ease to see Rachael's usual rebel personality of "shoot first ask questions later."

Walking into the room for the first time all I could see were tangled up tubes, beeping machines and Rachael in the middle of it all. The chaotic feeling of unknown clutter made it hard to visit with her at first. I felt so distant from such a close friend.

After I spent some time with Rachael she smiled. The tubes and machines faded to the background and I could see Rachael through it all. Although I was trying to be there to support her and relay messages from our concerned community it was Rachael that had the real message to share to comfort us. To me her smile was her way of saying, "Keep smiling and thank you all for your support."

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 161 Big Sur Ca. 93920***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************


  1. Rachael,
    I know you don't know me but I am a childhood friend of Derrics. When i found out what happened my heart just sank. Every night before my wife and I go to bed we pray for you and a full recovery.
    Matt and Felice Hays

  2. Can I ever come visit you Rachael? No hurry....... Rita, Fabs mom You look wonderful. Sorry I missed you when you were in Stanford. I was there, your folks are wonderful. xoxoxoxo I want to bring you the strawberry milkshake from In and Out Burger. Anything else I can do, just ask.

  3. Thank you for the update - I've met you a couple of times Rachael, I'm Levi's dad and have been following your story since I heard about the accident. It sounds like you are already doing amazing things and I don't doubt for one minute that you won't continue to amaze us all. Keep smiling and Donna and I are sending you lots of Aloha from across the ocean.

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  5. Your the light and love we all admire... You go girl.. Happy Thanksgiving......Derric your AMAZING!!!! Much love, Teah,Ruby and Marcel....

  6. Keeping in touch ... I check in on you, couple times a week xoxoo
    let me know if there is any thing I can do !* My days off are Mon . Tue .
    I can come and help you in you day to day ... Big hug ! Teresa