Photographer and former ICP student Eric Michael Johnson is young and talented, and his empathy for his subjects is evident in his work. Johnson summarized about this surgery project:
Dr. Luis Antonio Díaz Gerard removed the remaining hairs from patient Mari Zaragoza's scalp before performing surgery for a biopsy on a malignant brain tumor at the Hospital General "Tacuba" ISSSTE in Mexico City."I made these photographs in June 2009, while living in Mexico City. They are part of an ongoing project about health care professionals and the emotional toll of their work. What interested me in documenting neurosurgery was the obvious complexity and countless unknowns when treating the human brain. The results of their actions can vary dramatically from success to failure. As we put on our scrubs the morning of surgery, I asked Dr. Luis Antonio Díaz Gerard about the emotional toll of his work. He replied, "You only remember the ones that don't make it." I wanted to stay away from obvious graphic photographs. Instead, I tried to capture moments that show what doctors and nurses see. To me, the dramatic lighting of the surgery theater reflects the tremendous weight of their responsibilities. These photographs show a few of the haunting moments that are part of their daily lives."