Harry Eastlack was only a child when he broke a bone that wouldn’t heal. Instead, his skeleton began to grow abnormally, his bones doubling over one another, until he suffocated from his own bones.
But with his final, heroic act, he did something to try to save anyone else from suffering as he did. You can hear his story in our latest “Shoot This Now” podcast, which you can listen to on Apple or at this link or above.
Eastlack’s skeleton is now displayed in Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum, where scientists study it to search for a cure to the rare disease he suffered, Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva.
It is also the subject of “The Face Phantom,” a new project from Metabook. Metabook is a company trying to reinvent and expand the definition of books. It creates stories as well as accompanying films, music and art inspired by those stories.
For “The Face Phantom,” author Kathleen R. Sands told twelve stories inspired by exhibits in the Mutter Museum. The museum, part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, is not only a resource for researchers but also a site that draws tourists because of its focus on bizarre medical problems and how they were treated throughout history.
The Metabook also includes music and short films by our podcast guest, Metabooks creator and creative director Benjamin Alfonsi.
Alfonsi made two films about Eastlack: a documentary short, and a short film, “Reve Fantastique,” that imagines young Eastlack meeting his future skeleton in the museum.
You can watch Rêve Fantastique here, for the first time: