I’m Elaine Fisher and for the last 11 years I’ve worked as Community Stroke Services Coordinator in South West Glasgow for CHSS. One of the most rewarding things about my job is seeing how my weekly Young Stroke Service lifts the spirits of the men and women who attend.
John McNaught was referred to my Young Stroke Service at Cardonald College. In 2006, at the age of only 42 and with no warning, he’d suffered a massive stroke. Having lost the use of the right side of his body, in hospital he’d he’d begun painting with his left hand – rediscovering his love of art. Sadly though, after returning home, he sank into a deep depression.
In 2008, he was referred to the Young Stroke Service and his first visit fortuitously coincided with a visit from an art teacher. John’s talent was clear for everyone to see! I was so impressed that I suggested there and then that he sign up for an evening course in Art at the College. A few weeks later he began the classes with Tricia by his side and he continued to attend them for the next two years.
Since then, John has returned to the service to show new service users his paintings and help them to realise what can be achieved after a stroke. Sharing his work with others certainly lifted spirits and shows just how unpredictable the human body can be!
John’s stroke has left him unable to read or write, he struggles with his speech and he relies on an electric wheelchair to get around. However, his flair for art has given him freedom in a way nobody could have predicted. It takes his mind off what he’s gone through and has helped strengthen the left side of his body.
John McNaught from Glasgow