I developed the birdgirl character as a metaphor for the hybrid being that I had become through surgery—part me, part artificial parts and part someone new, I had been so changed by this event. I had been saved by the art of medicine and the people who practice medicine, by the miracle materials of Dacron and the machines that had helped keep me alive. I felt so grateful to be alive (I still do) but I was extremely diminished by weakness and, in mental and physical pain. This alter-ego became a way for me to try to create a more heroic narrative. In this drawing, the birdgirl is walking with the aid of a walker, as I did when I was finally able to go home. I have given her a cape to show her strength and heroism—to make her a super hero. Looking at the image now, I see an almost pitiful amount of expectation in the expression on her face.