Lee Oakland, aged 47, suffered a brain injury as a result of a road traffic accident 20 years ago. He has attended Headway Worcestershire for more than 15 years. He learnt late in life that he is actually slightly colour blind and confessed he likes a multitude of activities at Headway Worcestershire, including painting and photography… He enjoys using paints, pastels, pencils and charcoals to do his art.
“I’ve always been artistic. My first memory is being in the kitchen as a child with a pen and pad because I used to draw since young. I drew things I liked… I used to go back home with black fingers from the carbon of the pencils. I ended up doing A-level arts.”
Lee’s accident happened on his way to a house party when he was in his 20s. “The driver was a new driver, something went wrong, he wasn’t speeding; the car flipped over. I was paralysed in a foetal position… I got whiplash and damaged my brain stem and I lacked oxygen to my brain… I don’t remember the accident. “ He was in a coma for months after.
“I had to learn to walk and move again. That’s one of the things I miss the most. I used to write at 1000 miles per hour. I can’t now because I’ve lost the precision. My left arm is slightly better but I struggle. I had a really nice signature… I miss doing detailed art and handwriting.”
“Now I paint the feeling things I see give me. I find all activities at Headway stimulating but I only paint things that make me go “hmmm”. I try to show an object how I think it comes across. Painting and drawing keep my head organised now. It gives me a sense of wellbeing.”