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Stroke survivor's joy as his art goes on show
AN inspirational man has overcome a near-fatal stroke to see his art work displayed in a public exhibition.
Bob Cozens, 60, of Gorse Hill , suffered a stroke six years ago while living in Greece, leaving him paralysed down his right side and and unable to talk, read or write.
Before the stroke Bob had lived an active life, which included being a scuba diving instructor in Egypt and owning an olive farm in Greece.
While in hospital Bob was not given long to live and his family were told that if he did survive, he would remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.
However Bob, along with his wife Shawn, refused to give up and, after years of physiotherapy from a local football team in Greece, he was able to walk short distances.
Unfortunately, bad luck was to strike again in 2007 when, as he was walking to a local shop to buy a bottle of champagne for Valentine’s Day, he was hit by an automatic door and his injuries meant he needed a hip replacement.
Recovering from that, and having become bored with doing endless jigsaw puzzles, Bob started drawing after his wife challenged him to draw a teapot with his left hand – he was previously right-handed.
Bob, who returned to the UK two years ago, has now used art as an outlet for his creative side and has drawn endless small works, including calendars and Christmas cards.
After running out of room to display any more pictures in his house, Bob has an exhibition at Inkspot Arts and Crafts, in Edgeware Road.
Shawn said: “I am just the greatest fan of his. First of all doctors said he wouldn’t get through the night. They then said he was going to be a vegetable and would have to live in a home. I said he was never going in a care home and I took him back to our house.
“I think we both cried when we heard about the exhibition, it meant so much to both of us. It just proves that he has recovered and is better.
“What I hope is that other people can see he is getting better and with hard work and determination a stroke does not need to be the end.
“If Bob was to say something now it would be that life doesn’t stop and it is what you make it.”
Bob’s work will be exhibited for the rest of July in Inkspot, which is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm.
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