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In the last year, STAT’s contributing photographers have been inside operating rooms, kayaked into polluted rivers, and traveled to rural Quebec. They have covered stories about love and devastating loss — of a child and a lifelong partner — and worked with patients to tell their stories about fighting for treatments that could improve, or even save, their lives.

Read on to see some of our favorite pictures from the past year.

Dr. Peter Noseworthy
Dr. Peter Noseworthy (center) shows data from a cardiac ablation procedure to Zachi Attai (right) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Noseworthy and Attai, a machine learning engineer, are working together to apply artificial intelligence to heart disease treatments. From: At Mayo Clinic, AI engineers face an ‘acid test’: Will their algorithms help real patients? Sarah Stacke for STAT
Whitney Weldon
Whitney Weldon darts out of traffic by Manhattan’s Union Square. She can walk but needs to use a wheelchair to accomodate a lack of mobility caused by fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. From: Their tissue turns to bone. Their joints freeze in place. And, finally, their hopes for treatment may be realized Alice Proujansky for STAT
Marie-Hélène Étienne-Rousseau with her son Tobie at their home in Sherbrooke, Quebec. From: The vaccine whisperers: Counselors gently engage new parents before their doubts harden into certainty Adèle Foglia for STAT
Gorlin - Kaylene Sheran
Kaylene Sheran, 19, has the rare condition Gorlin syndrome. She lost access to the medication that could ease her symptoms a year ago due to her insurance policy, and cannot afford to purchase it out of pocket. Since then, the basal cell carcinoma tumors associated with the syndrome have been re-emerging. From: The Medicine Hunters: A livestock-poison-turned-drug might save her from endless cancer surgeries. But if she helps test it, could she afford to keep taking it? Kayana Szymczak for STAT
Surgeons practice a new amputation surgery intended to enhance mobility in a prosthetic hand. During the dissection, the muscles and nerves of the cadaver forearm were isolated and labeled. From: Surgeons test-drive the amputation of the future with a mail-order limb, rerouted nerve, and prosthetic hand that grips like the real thing Kayana Szymczak for STAT
Nodding Syndrome
Walter Ochora, 16, was diagnosed with nodding syndrome in 2009 and was started on treatment right away. He lives at home with his family in Uganda. His sister is also affected by the disease. From: A devastating illness rocked Uganda, then disappeared. Disabled children — and a mystery — remain Esther Ruth Mbabazi
Dr. Julie Medley
Veterinarian Dr. Julie Medley performs a tooth extraction on a dog at the Chestnut Street Animal Hospital in Needham, Mass. From: In biotech’s biggest hub, companies open their labs to an unlikely inspector: the city’s veterinarian Hadley Green for STAT
Alzheimer's photo essay
When the nurses told Else that Poul could die soon, she stayed with him all the time at the nursing home, sleeping on a mattress next to his bed. From “But Greatest is Love,” Sofie Mathiassen’s photo documentary about her grandparents, and featured in ‘You keep loving each other’: A window into dementia at the end of a lifelong partnership. Sofie Mathiassen
Josh Hillman
Harvard Law School student Josh Hillman uses a medical air nebulizer to breathe in antibiotic mist to treat his cystic fibrosis. From: ‘We’re still waiting’: As cystic fibrosis drugs deliver new hope, not everyone is being swept up by scientific progress Kayana Szymczak for STAT
James High
A page from a book Eric and Holly High made for their daughter, to help her understand the loss of her baby brother James, who died of SIDS at 4 months old. From Their baby died during his nap. Then medical bureaucrats deepened the parents’ anguish Alissa Ambrose/STAT
Addy Alt-Holland,
Addy Alt-Holland, a professor of endodontics at Tufts University, embraces Tom Sprague, a motivational speaker who has Gorlin syndrome, at the Gorlin Syndrome Alliance National Conference in Philadelphia. From: The Medicine Hunters Part II: Discovered in the valley of the one-eyed lambs, a toxic weed fuels a cancer-drug gold rush — and a quandary Mark Makela for STAT
The city of Morgantown, W.Va., is built along the north-flowing Monongahela River. From ‘Dump it down the drain’: How contaminants from prescription-drug factories pollute waterways Jeff Swensen for STAT
Sean Parker reflection
Sean Parker, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and creator of the Parker Foundation, poses for a portrait in his backyard in Los Angeles. From: Billionaire Sean Parker is nerding out on cancer research. Science has never seen anyone quite like him September Dawn Bottoms for STAT



Top image from Families are reeling after FDA rejects therapy for kids born without a thymus gland

For more, check out STAT’s most memorable photos from 2018 and 2017.