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Jean-Marc Aloy: another view on photography after a stroke

by  Yvette Depaepe 

Today I would like to share with you a touching story straight out of real life. It's the story of a precious friend of mine and 1x member  Jean-Marc Aloy

He was a victim of a stroke 5 years ago.  It changed his life drastically, especially as a photographer. After his stroke, Jean-Marc was completely paralysed on the right side and dumb. He didn't know where he was. In a hospital yes, but which one ???
For four years, he “rebuilt” himself thanks to the good care of several hospitals and a rehabilitation center. His biggest support all the way was his faithful and caring companion.
He was a skilled photographer and today, after a long fight and with incredible perseverance, he is back again.

Jean-Marc joined the 1x community while he was slowly improving. At the beginning, I witnessed how he started to shoot again. His companion had to do everything for him, from placing the tripod, composing the image, focusing and getting the right settings according to Marc's vision on the object he wanted to photograph. Once satisfied by looking through the viewer, he “clicked” with his good hand.
After a long fight, today Jean-Marc is able to go out on his own to shoot in spite of the remaining sequels. 

At the end of this narrative, you can see some of the images taken during this most difficult period and some recent works.
During his long rehabilitation, the idea of trying to express what's going on in the brain and mind of other victims through portraits was born.

It all started with a selfie, one year ago, expressing how he was feeling after his stroke.
Jean-Marc quotes:I was looking around me, watching the world with eyes of a fried fish.  I had a weird and silly look”.


Jean-Marc” and his companion
I was looking around me, watching the world with eyes of a fried fish, I had a weird look”

He went one step further making portraits of his friends, other stroke victims he met in the rehabilitation center.
Here are their stories ...

Alice is the daughter of a couple of our old friends. She was the one who took all the initiatives to obtain the authorization within the rehabilitation center to realize Jean-Marc's wonderful project. Without her, he might not have succeeded.
Alice was born on 10/10/1967.
She lost the power of speech when she was 10 years old: Syndrome of Troyer.
Alice presents a complex pyramidal syndrome, abnormal dystonic movements, damage of the muscle structure of the neck and tongue. She didn't grow a lot and is small and very thin. But Alice is an amazing clever lady, lovely, helpful and full of energy.



It happened 18 years ago.
A road in Holland...
An accident... and nothing any more ...
Three months in coma and undoubtedly a cranial traumatism.
The fear of seeing herself or being seen as a victim is still overwhelming.



A stroke means more freedom” to Frederic.
He has more time to spend with his family.  His problems are not an obstacle any more.  He gets all the help he needs.


She took a blow in the wing of the airplane. The contact with the ground was very rough. She found herself at the end of the track. A tear was flowing along the window of the cockpit. The control tower didn't notice a thing. The cleaning team discovered her. She just had a stroke!  It was a real chaotic landing.
She is a stewardess … She was !!!!
It all happened in Lyon.



2 years ago, 1 accident.
There were 2 wheels, 1 week of coma.
Did she pass out? (Translation of the French expression “tomber dans les pommes” when fainting)



Inquire before judging.”
We pass through several phases!


Gilles was an inspector at the National Security Services until he was hit by a stroke.
He woke up and didn't feel like a “human being” any more.
He was dumb for 2 and a half years.
He couldn't walk, stand up or write any more.
During his rehabilitation, he learnt to deal with his incurable sequels.
Thanks to his tablet and the precious help of a speech therapist, Gilles brought himself slowly back into the real world. Now he is very motived to continue his fight and recover as much as his body and mind allow him.


Thanks for allowing me to share your story, Jean-Marc.
You are a true example of courage and perseverance.

To finish this touching story, a short compilation of Jean-Marc's latest work.


“Fishing structure”


“Swimming Pool”






“The Bridge”



Thank you very much for these photos that impressed me
A great example of courage and perseverance. Thanks Yvette, for sharing this moving story and the splendid work of Jean-Mark.
Thanky you Yvette and Jean-Marc, for bringing a very personal story to us, in fact many personal stories. I really prefer these over "gear talk"and enjoyed the characteristic portraits very much!
Thank you so much for your appreciation, Mike! Cheers, Yvette
Yvette, I was reading this emotional story few times. It is true, "never give up and you will be rewarded". Many thanks for publishing it. Also many thanks to Jean-Mark for excellent support. My congratulations to both of you!!
Thanks a lot, Miro! Cheers, Yvette
Thank you, Yvette for sharing the emotional story of your dear friend,Jean-Marc. And, Jean-Marc, keep on shooting your wonderful landscapes and the very touching portraits of your friends. Excellent work. Best regards! / Bjorn
Thanks for your appreciation, Bjorn. The star and hero here is of course Jean-Marc! Cheers, Yvette
Many many thanks for your fine collaboration, Jean-Marc! You're a real example of courage and perseverence. My pleasure to share your story here. Congratulations!!!