The story of a heart valve
November 29, 2018 5:58 AM Subscribe
Looking Inside My Heart. "Jen Hyde discovered that her heart valve was made by women working in a factory near her childhood home. Getting to know them brought her closer to her own mother." [Via]
Because I’ve never seen my own bioprosthetic heart valve, I couldn’t imagine its global origins or the human hands that had put it together until I peered into this room.
I watch each woman move like the blood in my body, pulsing through with desire, shame, regret, and longing. Every inch of their bodies are covered in medical garments. Sarah instructs me to put on a pair of latex gloves, then places a sample of my own valve in my hand. I hold it to my eye to study the stitches, but I have trouble seeing a single one. I can’t feel the textures of the valve with my gloved hands; it looks machine made.
Even as I hold it now and observe the women at work on the other side of the glass, it seems like a work of fiction that the valve inside my body had been assembled by them. And yet, as I hold the valve for the first time, despite my disbelief in the very existence of this room, I feel a deep gratitude for these women and their labor. That the object now inside me had been made here, had brought me here to Irvine made me wonder what else I couldn’t see about my own life.
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