My name is Heather Patterson. I am an emergency physician and photographer based in Calgary, Canada.  

This project is a longitudinal photo documentation of the rarely seen, in-hospital experiences of frontline workers, patients and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The harrowing, yet often intimate images explore the themes of suffering and vulnerability while simultaneously highlighting resilience, teamwork, and compassion. 

As we face the  4th wave of COVID-19, new challenges have arisen including illness in children and the vaccinated medically vulnerable, as well as judgement experienced by those who are not vaccinated by choice. Healthcare and hospital frontline workers are burnt out and discouraged by protests at hospital entrances and the relentless onslaught of COVID-19.   

I will continue to photograph our daily lived in-hospital experiences in the hope that it will inspire kindness and compassion for all those suffering with COVID-19.  


Heather Patterson, BScH, MD, FRCPC Emergency Medicine

All photos taken and posted with AHS approval and individual consent.
Embargoed Content

July 15, 2021 Alberta Medical Association

Calgary Physician Photographer Documents Frontline COVID Response

June 11, 2021 | College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta

Images from the Pandemic Front Lines


June 1, 2021 | Maclean's Magazine

Alone and Afraid: Alberta's Third Wave in Photos

May 8, 2021 | CTV News Channel

Photographing the Front Lines

May 1, 2021 | City News Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto

Rare photographs reflect fight against COVID-19


April 23, 2021 | 770 News Radio

PhotoDoc: An Interview with Dr. Heather Patterson

April 23, 2021 | CTV Calgary

Photography of pandemic depicts exhaustion, tragedy inside Calgary's Foothills Hospital

April 8, 2021 | Calgary Health Foundation


Mar 22, 2021 | Maclean's Magazine

Year One: The untold story of the pandemic p.44-45

Mar 18, 2021 | Calgary Herald
'Speaks to the strength of our team': How Calgary's health-care workers managed one year of the pandemic

Mar 8, 2021
| Calgary Herald
​The pandemic shows how far women have come and how far they have left to go

Jan 18, 2021 | CBC The National

Doctor turned documentarian​​

Jan 18, 2021 | Global Calgary
Calgary ER doctor takes sabbatical to photograph colleagues on COVID-19 front lines

Jan 15, 2021 | CTV Calgary
Photos from inside Calgary COVID-19 wards

Jan 15, 2021 | COVID Kindness, Canadian Medical Association
ER doctor captures humanity and hope through hospital photography project

Jan 14, 2021
| CBC Calgary
Calgary ER doctor captures life on the frontlines of pandemic through photography project​​​

Jan 14, 2021 | CBC Calgary Radio

How a Calgary emergency room doctor is chronicling the COVID-19 pandemic with her camera

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