Before the stroke, I was not an artist. I was a college student, unaware of a congenital defect in my left carotid artery. The headache. The hospital. I had a brain hemorrhage. After the surgery, I had a stroke. The doctors said I'd never walk or talk again. I could expect 10% of life. It's called an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).
During rehab, the staff and I worked very hard for a year on cognitive and physical therapy. I wanted to return to an independent lifestyle.
I have problems speaking - it's called aphasia. I turned to art, teaching myself to use my non-dominant left hand. At first, it was very difficult. Over time, I noticed that my art had improved. I was developing some talent in this area. In the years since my stroke, I have taken classes in drawing watercolor, acrylics, oil, and photography. I live on my own; I can walk; I have friends.
I love art. It's fun to do, and art has given me a purpose in life. The completely unexpected challenge of stroke recovery was the means to discover my passion in life!
- Scott Garrity