On the 4th of March 2015, Geraldton local and Pollinators member Gordon Macleod awoke with a small headache. Thinking it was just another day, Gordon had no clue that his life would never be the same again.
After saying goodbye to his wife Noeleen, Gordon drove himself to the hospital, still not knowing he was experiencing a stroke. After 30 minutes of trying to lock his car and falling over 3 times getting to emergency, Gordon was then flown to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where he remained in a coma for 16 days.
When he woke, the stroke had affected his speech, imagination, problem solving skills and motor functions. “I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t do anything,” he said, regarding the ordeal.
“I lost all function in my right arm and right leg. Now I can walk, but my arm is still completely gone.”
Gordon had been right-handed up until the incident and at 49-years-old, he had to re-teach himself how to write using his left hand.
13 months later, Gordon realised he wanted to do something for himself and took up art classes at Geraldton Regional Hospital.
“Art has helped me work through this. Sometimes I have very bad art days – I take it out with the paint.”
Mid West Art Prize 2017 – All Alone
Gordon submitted two pieces of artwork to the Mid West Art Prize 2017, with one piece being accepted, and now sold! The buyer couldn’t believe he bought the painting from a man in a wheelchair.
Gordon believes there should be a 6th prize for ‘Best Disabled Artist’ that anyone with any type of disability can win. Gordon says he will definitely enter another Mid West Art Prize and though he didn’t win any prizes this time around, he is still a winner.
Q: What advice would you to give others, like yourself?
“Don’t give in. Fight for what you want. Too many people are locked away in their homes, or their family won’t take them out. Coming out can be a learning curve for both non-disabled and disabled people.”
“In this world, we are all the same person… I am just as good as someone who is standing up because we all get older and eventually we all need some help.”
“Every person I have met, is a part of me and my journey.”
In the future, Gordon aims to start a support group for stroke victims to come together and talk about their experiences. If you or someone you know is interested or needs support, Gordon wants you to contact him. (E) firstname.lastname@example.org (P) 99230609
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