E.R.Hasse - Portrait of the Digital Artist as a Young Parkinsonian
April 10, 2016
In March of 1994, at the age of 35, Eric notices a tremor in his left thumb. It was the first sign of early onset Parkinson’s disease.
Ten years on, he had lost his ability to feed, bathe or dress himself and his hands shook so badly that he could no longer hold a book open to read. He was totally dependent on his wife, Jane, and figured that he was in the end stages of the disease.
Through a series of personal contacts, Jane & her daughter, Zephyr, managed to persuade him to consider deep brain stimulation neurosurgery (DBS). In February 2005, he had bilateral subthalamic electrodes placed in his brain attached to a pacemaker-like subdermal controller embedded in his chest.
In the recovery room post-op his neurosurgeon, Dr. Craig Van Horne, turned the power on, as the doctor and his patient had prearranged, to share the miracle of transformation with his anxious wife and stepdaughter patiently awaiting news of the outcome of the four hour operation.
One minute, his familiar tremors wracked his body. The next, with the flip of a power switch – they were gone! Utterly. Completely. Gone.
Tears of joy and gratitude filled the post op ward that day.
In the ensuing 11 years those tears have continued to flow. In 2012 Eric transitioned to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center under the compassionate and capable care of his neurologist, Dr. Stephen Lee, seeking to optimize settings of his neurostimulator. Over the past six months Dr. Lee has also injected botox several times in order to enable his patient’s eyes to remain open for him to continue to make his digital images. This art has been on display at DHMC 3 times since the spring of 2005 when his monumental “Body and Soul: Remembering Beauty in a Time of Disease” was first hung on loan in the lobby of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
Most recently, since Thanksgiving Day, 2015, Eric has embarked on a carefully designed probiotic dietary regimen with the hope of reversing his stage four Parkinson’s through a gradual process of neuro-regeneration. He would like to dedicate this show to all the neurologists, neurosurgeons, P.A.’s, Arts Coordinators and nurses at DHMC & St. Elizabeth’s who have shared and shaped his journey for the past 22 years. Most of all, he dedicates his life and his art to his wife, Jane, who has dedicated her life to his.
The upcoming exhibit at the new Williamson Translational Research Building at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center,One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, New Hampshire (USA) on Thursday, April 21, from 5:-6:30.
Won’t you help our crowdfunding campaign?
The Goal: To fund the acquisition of Eric Hasse’s Monumental Diptych “Body and Soul: Remembering Beauty in a Time of Disease” by DHMC Arts for the permanent collection of Dartmouth-Medical Center. All contributions to DHMC Arts (Hasse Fund) are tax deductible donations.