A Morpeth woman who turned to painting after suffering a devastating condition hopes to inspire others when she holds an exhibition.
Angela Wilkie will exhibit and auction off some of her artwork at Morpeth Methodist Church on Saturday from 10am to 2pm in support of The Encephalitis Society.
Six years ago, Angela was affected by encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, following a viral infection, which left her in intensive care for eight days and three weeks in hospital.
Angela said: “Almost seven years later, I am still recovering. However, my story is a positive one and I hope with all my heart that I can encourage the recovery of others.”
Just before falling ill, Angela had joined the Linskill Art Group to pursue her long-held ambition of learning to paint.
Angela said: “I was unable to manage more than 10 to 15 minutes of painting initially as the concentration required caused fatigue. Now I can paint for up to 40 minutes at a time. Without doubt, painting has helped with my rehabilitation, my mental health and given me a new purpose in life.”
Angela has since turned her hobby into a business – opening a studio at home and selling her artwork, prints and cards online, in galleries.
Angela has since formed Morpeth Fatigue Support Group which meets on the last Thursday of the month at Morpeth Methodist Church.
She said: “The confidence I have gained from painting meant I could set up and run the support group locally to help others dealing with the long term consequences of chronic fatigue through various illnesses.
“If there is one piece of advice I could give to anyone living with a life-altering chronic condition, it would be to find something new to do in your life, a hobby or, if you are able to work, perhaps a different job.”
For more information about encephalitis and The Encephalitis Society, visit www.encephalitis.info