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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Man Wakes From Brain Surgery As A Talented Artist

By Daily Mail Reporter

Stoke of genius: Alan Brown was unable to draw even stick-men before his stroke

Stroke of genius: Alan Brown was unable to draw even stickmen before his life-saving brain operation

For most, stroke and brain surgery can be devastating but for Alan Brown it sparked a previously unseen talent... as an artist.

When Alan, 49, emerged from a gruelling 16-hour operation following his stroke, he found he had become a reborn 'Michelangelo' and was able to paint and draw with incredible detail.

Alan, from Malvern, Worcestershire, believes the surgery must have 'flicked a switch' in the creative part of his brain.

Until the stroke, Alan was unable to draw or paint, and the best he could manage was a simple 2D stickman.

The father-of-three spent two months recovering in intensive care before he was well enough to write and 'doodle' to pass the time and this is when he discovered his bizarre new talent.

Alan, who is divorced, said: 'I was out of the danger zone but still in intensive care and a nurse came up to me and said I looked bored and suggested I start drawing.

'She gave me a pencil and some paper and photograph of her dog which I copied almost perfectly.

'She looked at it and asked me if I was an artist. I said no and she said I should look into doing a course. Since then I've never looked back.'

Alan has just completed a fine art degree and has plans to open his own gallery

Alan has just completed a fine art degree and has plans to open his own gallery

Alan, who used to run a double-glazing firm, collapsed at his home six years ago after suffering a bout of migraines.

He was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a scan where doctors discovered a burst blood vessel, or aneurysm, in his brain.

He was transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for surgery.

Enlarge alan brown paintings

Creative streak: A display of Mr Brown's work

During a mammoth 16-hour operation - which involved a team of 15 surgeons - Alan almost died twice after suffering a major stroke.

He said: 'Going through this illness brought out a creative side of me that I never even knew existed.'

'I had never even set foot in an art gallery, let alone tried creating my own art work.'

Alan, who has three children, Joshua, 16, Ellie, 10 and Maisy, eight, is now about to graduate from Worcester university with a Fine Art Degree.

He has also decided to open his own art gallery in Malvern after turning his back on selling double-glazing.

He said: 'The stroke left me without the use of my left arm which would mean I'm pretty useless at work.

'I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do and art felt like my calling.

'I'm incredibly proud of my work. I don't have a particular style because I love all kinds of art from portraits to landscapes.'

Last month, Yorkshireman Chris Gregory, 30, shocked his family when he woke up from a brain-op with a thick Irish accent.

A spokesman for Headway, the brain injury association, said: 'It is always encouraging to hear about people with acquired brain injuries discovering new skills and talents.

'Brain injury can be devastating and can mean having to relearn even the most basic of life skills, but there is life after brain injury.

'An injury to the brain can result in varying and unpredictable effects.

'While most of the effects involve a loss of functioning, in some cases people have been known to acquire or discover new skills, although the exact reason for this is not fully understood.'