A STROKE survivor who took up painting to help him to recover has been praised for his artwork.

Ken Tooby, 66, of Bishop Auckland, had two strokes in 2011 leaving him with no speech, swallowing difficulties and a right sided weakness.

The Stroke Association gave him support and he was an expert patient in the association’s aphasia support service.

Loading article content

Lifestyle changes and followed and he attended rehabilitation classes where he took up painting.

He was nominated for the creative arts award in the Life After Stroke Awards and he was awarded a highly commended certificate.

Mr Tooby said: “I really enjoy painting and see it as a source of therapy. It helps me to relax and is great for stress relief.”

Amy Waite, aphasia communication support co-ordinator at the association nominated Mr Tooby for the award.

She said: “His work is very inspiring - in fact it’s amazing he didn’t paint prior to his stroke.

“He first had a taste of art by attending the sessions supported by the Stroke Association, and he ended up falling in love with painting.”

Peter Moore, regional head of operations for the Stroke Association in the North-East, said: “The awards highlight the tremendous courage people have shown in rebuilding their lives after a stroke, or in helping others to do the same.”