a history of high blood pressure.
Her journey to recovery
As she rested in a dark hospital room, Dymally winced in pain at even the quietest sound or ray of light, her hand curled in a ball. Determined to correct her slurred speech, she quietly repeated vowel sounds over and over. Despite how she felt, she started walking as soon as she was able.
“I knew exercise would help me heal,” she says.
A week later, she flew back to Los Angeles. Dymally said a lack of health insurance kept her from joining a rehabilitation program.
To this day, she deals with the aftereffects of her stroke, including pain and sensitivity on her left side, a condition called complex regional pain syndrome.
“It’s kind of like pins and needles when you hit your funny bone,” she shares, noting that even picking up a napkin is painful.
Dymally had been working as a freelancer. She said she worked in a variety of industries, from helping high school students prepare for college to taking real estate photos. After the stroke, she struggled to find work. She said it cost her nearly everything she had, including her longtime home.
“I learned that material things aren’t important,” she adds. “The stroke made me look at everything with a new perspective.”
Indeed, a chance meeting with a magazine publisher led to gigs photographing red carpet events.
Learning to shoot with one hand
Dymally realized the only way to learn how to shoot better using only one hand was to take more pictures using only one hand. So she began taking photos at comedy clubs. She believes the experience helped her emotionally as much as it did professionally.
“Laughter is healing,” she says. “My pictures were not always the best, but I never quit.”
As her work improved, so did her prospects. She began snapping red carpet events for other organizations. Over the years, she’s photographed a who’s who of celebrities, including