Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Journal Quilt April

Here is my journal quilt for April 2009. The suggested theme was Human Figure. I first thought of doing a self portrait or a portrait of one of my boys, but after my trip to the Torres Strait Islands, where I observed the tuberculosis outreach clinics, I decided to use an X-ray of a TB patient.

(In case you are not familiar with a chest X-ray: the white part in the middle is the heart. The lungs should be black (because they are filled with air) and all the white bits that I have quilted are parts of the lungs that are affected by tuberculosis. This is actually an X-ray showing extensive disease in both lungs)

Tuberculosis is a very old disease (evidence of TB has been found in Egyptian mummies) that is still a major cause of morbidity and mortality in large parts of the world. When it is caused by non-drug resistant bacteria it is easy to treat, although treatment must be continued for at least 6 months. Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a growing problem in many countries that needs to be addressed urgently. In the Torres Strait patients from Papua New Guinea, many of them with MDR-TB, are treated by an outreach team from Cairns. For a posting about my trip, go here (in Dutch, but with lots of photos) or watch this ABC news report (July 2008).


Lynn Cohen said...

How sad to realize that this disease is still prevelant in parts of our world. You did a good job on the quilt conveying the emotion behind the disease and x ray.

Margeeth said...

Really interesting piece, I think one of your best pieces of work.
That person must be really, really sick.

Unknown said...


Your quilt is amazing! I had a little cry when I saw it. My Dad died last year - he was 88. An amazing man - he lived with TB for 86 years! He had hard tissue TB not soft tissue.

Thank you

Margaret Cooter said...

Thanks for mentioning this on the Quiltart list. TB is definitely a disease that people need to be more aware of.