Creatability. Using creative arts to enhance the lives of people suffering from disabilities.

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I had my first operation in 1980, just before my 16th birthday. This was to insert a drain around my brain to remove excess fluid. Three days after the operation I came round, after which I had problems with my speech and writing. After a 3 month course of radiotherapy I gradually improved and went back to school to take a few ‘O’ levels. After this I went to Woolwich college to take a science course, which I passed.

I started work in 1983 at Boots in the Pharmacy Dept. In 1985 I had further health problems and I had another operation to replace the drain and this was successful.

Later in 1985 I started a new job at Glaxo Wellcome, as a laboratory assistant, work which I loved. I had further problems in 1992, when the drain became blocked again. I had a further 3 operations in 3 days, after this I could not read, write, or speak more than a few words. My mother taught me to read and write again, and I had speech therapy for a year, and gradually improved to my present level.

I am slower and sometimes suffer with communication and comprehension levels. I retired from Glaxo Wellcome on health grounds in 1994, as I could no longer work to the required standard.

In 1993 I developed epilepsy, but it is under control, and I can drive.

I went to Bridge court in 1994, where I made many friends and improved my computer skills with the help of Brian Nichols. I enjoyed working with Doug Fackwell learning woodwork, making things for the gardens, i.e. planters and bird tables. I also made items for the home, small tables etc. I really enjoyed this work.

Sometimes I get tired, but I have a high quality of life, albeit a little slower than before.

Before my health problems I was a very keen sportsman, representing my district in both football and cricket and having county trials.

I still have a very keen interest in sport, and go to see my football team West Ham, and watch football on TV. I play golf, take the dogs for walks, I enjoy bowling and going on social outings.