“Diary of a Cyborg” is a feature documentary directed by Jaclyn Todd, and explores the lives of young patients with Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs). The film will follow Jaclyn’s own story, as an ICD recipient, as well as other young patients with the device. Interviews with experts in the medical community will supplement the personal narratives of these patients, all under the age of 25.


Three years ago, Jaclyn Todd began working on a seemingly straightforward thesis film for her Bachelor’s of Arts at the University of Chicago… She initially set out to craft an informative piece on a particular piece of technology that was extremely pertinent to her day-to-day life: the Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), a pacemaker-like device used in the treatment of various heart conditions, including Sudden Cardiac Death Syndrome. Not only has Jaclyn been living with an ICD for over eight years now, but her sister has one as well – both a result of mysterious circumstances and family history. Whilst in the middle of shooting her thesis, the battery in Jaclyn’s device ran low, causing a whirlwind change of plans, a last-minute surgery, and, in the case of her documentary, a sudden shift to her personal story. What started as an expository piece quickly became more of an autobiography, as Jaclyn documented her own questions and reactions to her device and its role in her day-to-day life, as well as the process of undergoing the replacement surgery…

Several months later, Jaclyn recovered and was back to the grind, and had crafted her thesis into a powerful short film. Now, with the addition of patients interested in telling their stories, and further interest from the medical community, Jaclyn’s short film is ready to become a full, feature-length documentary!


3 Responses to “the Project”

  1. Laura Wall said

    Please let us know how we can help you, Jackie. Best of luck with the film, we look forward to working with you.

  2. Sandra said

    My daughter was diagnosed at and early age with long qt my son and husband have it also. It was through sads that we were helped and are grateful. Drugs helped her until she turned 16 and she blacked out while driving a car she had a devise put in and unfortunately it was defective. A month ago she went in for sinus surgery where it was discovered her defib was one of the faulty ones and she needed it replaced asap. She had that done soon after the other surgery the Dr said it had no battery left in it. Those two weeks she was without it while Drs and insurance decided she had to go to a different Dr that was covered under her plan. Please make sure you get the device checked on a regular basis its a false security to believe that they will last as we were told 9 yrs and it was 5. She is 22 with a little boy who is now 2 years old we almost lost her once and the two weeks were awful and praying a lot that nothing would happen to her. She at 16 choose to have it cosmetically done. The next replacement will be done differently so it easier to get at. My husband and son also have the prolonged qt.

  3. Nina Morales said

    My two brothers and I were recently diagnosed with an SQNA5 mutation that can cause sudden cardiac death. My twin brother already has his ICD and I got mine recently, I had my surgery on Christmas eve, while we’re hoping our younger brother will not have to have the procedure anytime soon. I think it is great that someone is creating something like this film. It will be fantastic to see how others my age are living with their ICD. It’s also nice to see I’m not the only one to refer of us as cyborgs. ~Can’t wait to see the video.

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