Sunday, August 24, 2008

When a tragedy opens new doors to triumph

I'm fascinated to read of the turnaround in the life of Mr. Ken Walters.

A former engineer who was disabled and living on benefits has turned his life around - after a stroke rewired his brain and turned him into an artist.

Ken Walters suffered multiple spine fractures and massive internal injuries when he was crushed against a wall by a fork lift truck when a driver lost control.

The horrific accident left him wheelchair-bound and jobless and triggered a 19-year depression. Two life-threatening heart attacks deepened his gloom.

And when things looked like they couldn't get any worse, Mr Walters suffered a stroke at his home in 2005.

But incredibly the cerebral haemorrhage turned out to be an astonishing piece of good fortune.

For it 'rewired' part of his brain and spawned an artistic flair he never previously possessed.

Now, after his early doodles developed into advanced digital images, Mr Walters has created his own software and been snapped up by computer giant EA games at the age of 51.

The global firm has asked him to create digital creatures for a new educational game on evolution.

Mr Walters has already netted a cool £30,000 [about US $60,000] from his back bedroom creativity.

Speaking from his home in Ormskirk, Lancashire, he beamed: 'When I had the accident that put me in a wheelchair my life fell to pieces.

'I couldn't work, I couldn't even walk, and my passion and drive just ebbed out of me. I slumped into depression and must have been on a downer for nearly twenty years.

'Then I had the stroke and this passion for art just came out from nowhere.

'I hated it in school. I was never really the arty type, more hands on. But I have to say wherever this new found love for art has come from it's certainly changed my life forever.

'Although I didn't realise it at the time, having a stroke was the biggest blessing in disguise I ever could have wished for.

'I have amazed myself by the turnaround to be honest but I'm loving every minute of it. Now I wouldn't change my life for anything.'

I'm very happy for Mr. Walters - and it just goes to show: never give up hope! Clouds very often do have silver linings!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amazing story.