“That’s something a lot of people feel – like they can’t share about their loved one who has passed. That is very difficult. And I get to talk about Scott all the time. It can be very hard but it is also one of the greatest parts of being in this documentary,” said Sarah Potter.
It’s a story about moving forward after loss and hardship. That’s what Naperville resident Sarah Potter hopes to tell in a documentary project her filmmaker husband started before he unexpectedly died in July 2020. In November 2019, a routine endoscopy triggered severe pancreatitis for Scott. After months of treatments and stays at the hospital, he went into surgery and died from complications associated with his severe pancreatitis.
After a few months of Scott’s passing, his mentor reached out to Sarah, and she had an idea. Though the film didn’t have funding yet, there was one important story Scott was working on for a year about kids and their battle with a rare childhood disease, Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM).
“It was something that truly got him through a lot of his darkest moments in the hospital because he was thinking about those kids and the awful experiences they had been through. And they’re kids,” said Potter. “Their resiliency, it was just incredible and something Scott wanted to share.”
When the Lotus Blooms
Though the former speech pathologist initially didn’t want to be a part of the project, Sarah is now the creative director of her husband’s documentary, When The Lotus Blooms: A Story of Acute Survival. The film will focus on bringing further awareness to AFM, as well as examining the parallels of finding purpose and exploring personal loss.
“That’s something I want to explore as part of the documentary of, ok here’s what it’s like to go through this. Hopefully making people feel seen in that respect,” said Potter. “And then for people who don’t have as much experience with grief or loss, seeing how they can be a support to a friend or family member in that way.”
It’s through the support of her friends, family, and community that Sarah has been able to continue to support her two kids, 7 and 3, as well as find a new passion as a filmmaker herself. “It saved me in a time that could have been a really desperate time,” said Potter. “I don’t think Scott would be surprised that I took this route and I know that he would be very happy about it.”
A Kickstarter campaign with the goal of reaching $100,000 to fund the project will be going on until March 19.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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