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home : columnists : columnists October 22, 2017


10/4/2017 4:00:00 AM
Finding therapy, discovering art
Photos providedMichael McGuire, who lost his ability to express his speech, has discovered his hidden talent of creating art, which is also his therapy. He will show his art on Sunday at Harbour Trees Golf Club in Noblesville.
Photos provided

Michael McGuire, who lost his ability to express his speech, has discovered his hidden talent of creating art, which is also his therapy. He will show his art on Sunday at Harbour Trees Golf Club in Noblesville.


By Betsy Reason
Editor


Michael McGuire's speech is slurred, and he can't always convey exactly what he wants to say.

It's been two years this month since the Noblesville man experienced a sudden brain bleed.

He had been complaining of a headache. Then, his wife, Megan, found him up in the middle of the night disoriented and speaking garbled English. He had an emergency craniotomy, to allow his swelling brain to expand. Later, he had two more brain surgeries, a long hospital stay, then he spent a month in rehabilitation.

Megan didn't work for six months but spent her days and nights caring for her husband and taking him to doctor appointments and therapy. But "things continue to get better every day," she said.

She shared with me her heartwarming story, about how life has changed and how her husband, who was once very focused on his dream job in surgical sales, has re-learned how to walk and eat, and how he has learned to deal with aphasia, this loss of ability to express his speech.

Megan said while their three-year marriage is stronger, and her husband is closer to God, he has found therapy in art, a hidden talent that he had never before experienced.

His connection with art happened one night during an aphasia group meeting, where he painted a pumpkin. A few weeks later, he expressed an interest to his wife that "painting" is how he would like to spend the day. After buying paint and brushes, he started painting wooden birdhouses, a cross, boxes and a breast cancer ribbon for Megan's mom. Then he painted on canvas. And enjoyed lessons from his Aunt Donna, an artist. His art progressed in 10 months, painting abstracts, nature and animals.

"I'm so glad that he has this creative outlet," said Megan, who watches her 35-year-old husband, a Bloomington native and Indiana University graduate, paint new pieces of art every day. "He laughs when he looks at some of the earlier work he's done," she said.

He is involved with church, in his men's group and volunteering, and is working with a career coach to find a job. They have two dogs, Divot and Birdie, and enjoy spending time together golfing, cheering on the Indianapolis Colts and cooking.

Megan said life is good, although it's not quite "how we thought our life would be."

This weekend, Megan invites the community to see her husband's artwork during a special Art Sale Celebration, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Harbour Trees Golf & Beach Club, 333 Regents Park Lane, Noblesville, where the couple were married. They're calling it a Celebration of Life Party, remembering their journey over the past two years, while raising funds. There is a silent auction, and his artwork is for sale. The public is invited. To learn about Michael's artwork, go online at https://artbymichaeljmcguire.com/







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