58 year old Hilary Palmer from Lisburn received the Award for Creative Arts at the recent Northern Ireland Life After Stroke Awards which took place in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast as part of Action on Stroke month.
Health Minister Edwin Poots, Government and Health representatives honoured the achievements of stroke survivors, their carers and supporters at the event. Local celebrities also attended including event host and Northern Ireland Stroke Association patron, BBC’s Noel Thompson, Belfast Citybeat Radio presenter Sara Neill and acclaimed artist Paul Bell.
Tom Richardson, Northern Ireland Director, Stroke Association comments;
“Hilary had a stroke at the age of 37 which left her with communication and mobility problems. Now a resident at Ballymacross House in Lisburn, Hilary attends Thompson House Hospital where she took great interest in the art and pottery room. Developing a natural flair for pottery and painting, she has even had her work publicly showcased and sold some at exhibitions. Hilary is a very chatty, sociable lady and has developed great confidence in herself and her abilities over the years. She regularly goes on outings to local art galleries and has even visited galleries in Paris and Nice. The art room in Thompson House has given Hilary a new lease of life and rather than let her stroke diminish her life, she has found a talent that she didn’t realise she had.”
The winners this year ranged from 28 year old Kate Gorman who, despite having a stroke at the age of 19, is now an active Stroke Association volunteer, to the amazing efforts of stroke survivor Raymond Kelly and his friends who raised thousands of pounds through the fantastic 575 Challenge, cycling 500 miles and climbing 7 mountain peaks in just 5 days!
A total of eight Awards were handed out at the event in what proved to be an inspiring and emotional evening for both winners and guests alike.
Health Minister Edwin Poots said; “The Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards showcase examples of the great work that goes on every day to help alleviate the challenges faced by stroke sufferers and their families. They acknowledge the bravery and commitment of people who have been affected by, or who have had a stroke. Recognising those who have had to overcome personal challenges following a stroke and those who have provided the support frameworks, which do so much to help stroke sufferers maximise their rehabilitation and recovery. ”
Tom Richardson adds; “Around 34,000 people across Northern Ireland are currently living with the effects of stroke and each one is an inspiration to us all. May is Action on Stroke Month which focuses this year on raising awareness of mini-strokes or TIAs throughout Northern Ireland. The Life After Stroke Awards is such a significant event for us as it not only highlights how stroke can affect anyone at any age, but also the impact stroke can have on families and carers.”
For further information, please visit www.stroke.org.uk or facebook.com/strokeassociationni
A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.
Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and we’re leading a community of people to change the world for people affected by stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at ww.stroke.org.uk