This adorable little girl was attacked by her babysitters dog and was receiving treatment while I was there. She appears sporadically in the first chapter of the video series. © Garrett Hubbard 2009/USA TODAY
I recently spent 15-hours in the ER.
Fear not, I did not arrive by helicopter or ambulance this time, instead I walked in with my own two feet around 6 a.m. one day late August to work on a story at the University of Virgina Medical Center. That day on the front lines of our health care system was eye opening. I had the opportunity to shadow some really passionate doctors, nurses, and residents as well as experience life and nearly death.
At USA TODAY we wanted to take a look at the health care system through the lens of the ER by spending 24 hours straight in it. Five reporters, three editors, and two visual journalists like myself took on this task. I teamed up with my friend who also happens to be one of my favorite visual journalists at the paper, Thad Allender to tell the story visually with photographs and video. We took many photographs, each shot around five-hours of footage during our long shifts, asked a lot of people to wear wireless microphones, interviewed a lot people, saw the helicopter medivac (PEGASUS) deliver many people, and wwer reminded how precious & fragile life is. The final product was a front page story that ran today with lots of photos inside on pages 4 & 5, a video series with four chapters, and an online photo gallery.