Steve Russell - Staff Photographer - @RussellPhotos
He sat facing the window, his face in his hand, he was weeping.
I put down my camera and put my hand on his shoulder and let him cry.
It was my first visit with Lewis Wheelan, a triple amputee at Sunnybrook Hospital, I would follow him for six months along with reporter Moira Welsh.
After Lewis had composed himself, I sat down beside him and explained that if that happened it again I would photograph it. These were things I was just beginning to talk to him about when he broke down.
Maybe I didn't take the picture that day because I saw in Lewis myself 15 years earlier. A student-athlete who was working a crappy summer job in Northern Ontario. The difference was Lewis' summer job changed his life forever.
On his second day of work clearing brush from under hydro lines, he was injured when a tree was cut nearby hitting a power line, landing on him and arcing three times hitting him with 7,200 volts and setting the brush around him on fire. The injuries left Lewis with severe burns and he had three limbs amputated.
After that first meeting Lewis, I hung out with him whenever my schedule allowed it, sometimes taking pictures sometimes watching a hockey game.
The pivotal moment in the image I submitted for the Photosensitive Picture Change project happened a couple months later.
Lewis was eager to get prosthetic legs and begin to try to walk again. In several fittings he found that the legs never really fit right and were too painful to wear. In the picture Lewis decides that after a painful session with a prosthetic technician at Sunnybrooke Hospital he won't try to walk anymore.