Visual Design

Photo essay chronicles kidney transplant patient’s journey

Northwell Health opted for as the primary channel for sharing Matthew’s story.

The Long, Hard Road to Becoming a Kidney Recipient- Logo


What started out as a plan to create a ghostwritten diary from the perspective of a pediatric patient in need of a kidney transplant wound up as a photo essay published on Its impact has earned Northwell Health first place in the “Visual Design” category of Ragan’s 2017 Health Care PR & Marketing Awards.

The patient whose story was told was Matthew, a quiet, shy young man whose personality led Northwell Health to opt for a photo diary to raise awareness of the new pediatric kidney transplant program at its children’s hospital. The idea was to capture the “raw emotion” of the process. 

Employing a photojournalistic approach, the team shadowed Matthew at his doctor and dialysis visits, screenings, hospitalizations, health setbacks, consultations with his medical team, the surgery, recovery and discharge. The resulting photo essay represents a four-month process. The essay itself was crafted from a total of 500 photos. 

Northwell opted to publish the photos on, a popular blogging platform used mainly for long-form content; has been the channel of preference for major publishers, political figures and business personalities. The resulting essay does a brilliant job of capturing the emotions as well as the realities of the process. 

More than 2,000 unique views were tallied by Medium for the essay; the related Facebook post reached 22,100 people and provoked more than 750 reactions, while Instagram posts of the images generated 5,820 impressions and 93 engagements. The entire undertaking was delivered for $50. 

Congratulations go to Gina Czark, Christina Stolfo, Julie Shapiro, Sarah DiBari, Adam Cooper, Lee Weissman, Amanda Marzullo, Ashleigh Churchward, Katrina Doell and Maureen Horn.

View More Health Care PR And Marketing Awards 2017 Winners.

Visit to learn more about awards opportunities.