WHAT goes through your mind when you see someone with a scar? Do you recoil in disgust? Do your eyes light up with curiosity? Or do you form your own opinion and assume that this person is either a gangster rocking a battle scar or an accident survivor?
Well today’s FITC carries a scar on the back of his head that is pretty inconspicuous, so much so that I was distracted for the majority of the time as I sat through a press conference and he was seated directly in front of me.
Colin Weekes is not a gangster or an accident survivor, no, he is a 48 year old filmmaker who originates from Sans Souci and now resides in Cap Estate.
Weekes just happened to have an uninvited guest that was getting too big for the room that it occupied…in his head.
This was totally another moment when being a curious opportunist worked to my advantage, as my asking nicely thankfully got this normally shy and reserved man to open up and tell me about his interesting and icebreaking scar.
The VOICE: That scar on the back of your head, I couldn’t help but stare at it, so much so that I missed half of the conference. How did you get it?
Weekes: I had a cyst in the back of my head and when I was 18 I took it out. When I was 17 and just about leaving school, I started having complications in terms of my balance and different things were happening to me that were unexplainable. A lot of it had to do with my eyes, so I started having issues with my eyesight and so forth I went to the eye specialist who gave me glasses, but that didn’t seem to help. To cut a long story short, I went to Victoria Hospital and got some X-rays done but nothing was shown. Still, the problems persisted. Eventually, I ended up doing a scan in Martinique and that’s when they found a cyst in the back of my head. So really, it was resting on my optic nerve and that’s why I was having eye issues. As I said, my balance was thrown off and the reason that I got to know that was because I was heavily into sports and I just realised that I couldn’t do the things that I was able to do months ago, specifically with football. Just keeping up the ball and ball control…things I was doing with the ball two three months ago, I just totally lost it. The fellas were giving me jokes but I knew there was something deeper. Even again with sports, I did track. I remember specifically running the 200m finals for inter-schools sports for St. Mary’s, and when I finished the race, I just felt the whole left side of my body weak. I couldn’t figure it out…why was I feeling fresh on one side and weak on the other? After finding out about the cyst, I knew what was totally wrong with me and it changed my life because at that point, I realised that it could have been a lot worse. I could have lost my eyesight and I could have even died.
The VOICE: Before being told that there was a cyst, was it not protruding in any way?
Weekes: No. actually the surgeons had to cut through my skull to get to it because it wasn’t a bump or anything, it was in there. I just felt the physical effects of it.
The VOICE: What was your recovery like after your surgery?
Weekes: To be honest, the doctor told me that it was because of my attitude that the operation was so successful. It was like a big show for me. It was like a fun thing and I took it very lightly. I remember when I came out of the operating room, my father was there and the first thing I asked him was whether Brazil had won their game, because the World cup was going on at the time and that was the first thing I thought about. I didn’t think of death or the consequences.
The VOICE: Is this something that’s common in your family?
Weekes: No, I’m the only one. Fortunately (Now) when I was young, I was in the hospital quite a bit. I had operations for appendix, hernia and I was there a few years ago for dengue but that’s something else, but I’ve been quite healthy. As I said, I take care of myself and stay away from the unnecessary ill so, it’s just me.
The VOICE: I’m guessing your scar is an icebreaker. How much attention do you get because of it?
Weekes: It’s only been in the past five years when I started getting a little less hair on my head and I decided to shave it all off, so now people are really seeing the scar, but before I had hair on my head and it wasn’t seen. But yeah, people will come up to me and ask and I answer them.
The VOICE: has anyone tried to come up to you and touch it?
Weekes: Yeah people touch it all the time but it’s a big deal. Only thing is with barbers, so that’s why I’ve gone to the same barber for umpteen years now, because if I go to a different barber, they’re like “Ok, how do I treat this?” But it’s nothing that physically bothers me.
The VOICE: How has this changed you life?
Weekes: I always had a conscious way of living but I think after that incident, I became even more conscious of life and the value of it. Since then, I take life very seriously and I don’t waste life so to speak. I grab at opportunities and I try not to mess around in terms of lifestyles. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke…I value myself. The party thing is not something I fuss about. I’ve never really been a party person but even though, say I miss a party, I missed a party; it’s not the end of the world. I focus on my passion which is family, especially my daughter who has made a huge impact on my life, and my way of earning a living. I just want to acknowledge my daughter, my family. Another reason for taking life very seriously and this made me figure that there must be a purpose for me on this earth, when I was only two days old; I was written off for death already. The story as it goes was that the doctor said that I was a gonner and that I wouldn’t live. In fact, the doctor refused to come to the hospital because he insisted that there was no reason to come because I was not going to live. Fortunately, there was another doctor present who saw to me and I’m here today.
The VOICE: what is your relationship like with your scar today?
Weekes: For me it’s not even there. I don’t think about it. I mean, people see it but I don’t think about it. Sometimes, months, even years would pass and I don’t remember it so I have no relationship with it…we’re actually divorced right now.