It started as just another form of occupational therapy. Yet, mix in a splash of tenacity, a bit of patience and a load of talent and Melissa W., a C3-4 quadriplegic client at CORE, produces beautiful works of art. Most people paint because they love it or because it is a way for them to be creative and express themselves. While this is still all true for Melissa, she also takes a much more practical approach.
“I paint because it’s fun, but mostly because it is a beneficial way for me to build muscle strength and endurance,” she said with a grin.
Melissa’s first painting of a cupcake came with step by step directions that took her eight hours to complete. She uses a wrist brace on her left side and a tendonisis grip on her right hand to help her hold the paint brush. She also uses a tray in her lap to give her better access to the canvas. The feedback from friends and family has been overwhelmingly positive and suddenly Melissa has been besieged with requests for more paintings.
One such request came from CORE trainer, Paul R., but it came with strings attached.
“I only had one stipulation. I told her it could be of anything she wanted, but it had to be painted with her left hand,” said Paul.
This was a pretty hefty request considering Melissa’s left hand is also her non-dominate, less functional hand. Not one to shy away from the tough stuff, Melissa took his challenge and showed up for her CORE workout session with this beautiful masterpiece that took her four hours to complete:
“I love it. It is one of my most favorite gifts I’ve ever received because she had to put more thought and effort into it than the average store bought present. I am hanging it above my desk in the office so I can admire it and cherish it everyday,” said Paul.
Melissa finds inspiration from the quirky and funny things life throws her way. Or, she takes special requests! Melissa is currently working to raise money to purchase an Uppertone, which is a piece of therapy/exercise equipment to continue her quest to gain enough strength to push a manual chair.
If you would like a masterpiece for your office or home too, you can send your requests to Melissa via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!
And, as always, if you would like more information about CORE please visit our website or call 321-418-3050.