Locked in With Friends

ABC Radio National
Street Stories, 2005
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Description: This feature documentary follows the story of Chris Nolan, who lives in an aged care nursing home, and the family and friends who support him. When Nolan was 28 years old he suffered a hypoxic brain injury which left him in a 'locked in' state - unable to speak, see or move, but still able to hear and understand. The program dealt with the profound effects of his injury - on him and those around him. Significance: Disability stories are often presented in one of two ways - the terrible tragedy or the triumph of the human spirit in the face of hardship. This program challenged these stereotypes by focusing more on the complexity of the main character, Chris Nolan, and his friends frank interviews about how they had dealt with their changing relationship with him. The challenge of this program was to reveal the story of Chris without interviewing him, through interviews and recorded "conversations" of his friends talking to him, as well as atmospheric sound. The program also required extensive research to enable the interviewees to speak candidly about their relationships with Chris. The program was the winner of the Human Rights Radio Award for 2005. Described by the judges "as an incredibly moving, challenging and brilliant piece of radio", the program was commended for dealing with a sensitive issue in an engaging and uplifting way. Locked In With Friends was broadcast nationally on the ABC's Radio National and triple j and rebroadcast in 2009 on Canadian radio CBC. (http://www.cbc.ca/radiosllmmer/crossingbollndaries/)
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