As cases of coronavirus have fallen in the U.S., parts of the country are being ravaged by the highly contagious Delta variant. In a poignant visuals story, Reuters visited a hospital to tell the stories of the children who tested positive for COVID-19.
Getting the story of the hospitals treating these children required determination and perseverance. A photographer for Reuters, Callaghan O’Hare, called over 50 hospitals in six states across the U.S. in order to secure the access needed.
“I heard a lot of ‘nos’ right off the bat, which I expected”, said O’Hare. “For the hospitals that seemed open to media coverage, I spent most of my time explaining why these photos were important. I told them that I’d been documenting COVID since March of 2020 and that I’ve photographed everywhere from hospitals to vaccine sites to funeral homes. Americans have been inundated with these images and I felt people needed to connect with something new to remind themselves that the pandemic isn’t over.”
In the end, O’Hare gained access at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, where a toddler on a ventilator was fighting for his life. Two-year-old Adrian James was one of more than 840,000 children under the age of four to contract COVID-19 in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The significance of this story and the wealth of information garnered from a text interview between Reuters and the parents of Adrian James was used by a range of Reuters customers.
Reuters reporter, Sharon Bernstein, said telling Adrian’s story brought people close to human beings who were suffering. “I believe strongly in telling intimate stories of real people – it’s our best hope for understanding each other. Telling people’s stories in a real and personal way is what allows human beings from all walks of life and all parts of the globe to have compassion for each other and understand what others are going through.”
Adrian’s mother, Tiffany Jackson, said on Monday that her son is off the ventilator, making a positive recovery and may soon be discharged. She sent Reuters the following pictures to update the world on his progress:
Reuters is at the source of real stories, made possible by having an extraordinary team of reporters and photographers. For more Reuters coverage across pictures, text, and video, visit Reuters Connect.
kayley.rogers @ tr.com