Hilary’s battle against stroke recognised

A Lisburn stroke survivor has won an Art accolade at the Life After Stroke Awards event.

Fifty-eight year old Hilary Palmer received the award for Creative Arts at the recent Northern Ireland Life After Stroke Awards.

The gala event took place in the Stormont Hotel recently as part of Action on Stroke month.

Tom Richardson, Northern Ireland Director, Stroke Association said; “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.”

He continued: “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.”

Health Minister Edwin Poots, Government and Health representatives honoured the achievements of stroke survivors, their carers and supporters at the event.

Mr 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.”

Mr Richardson added; “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.”