A STROKE survivor has received a national award for her inspiring artwork after developing a passion for painting following the stroke which paralysed her down one side.

Yvonne Michael, of Priory Road, off Hanbury Park Road, St John’s, Worcester, received a Life After Stroke certificate from ITV’s Central Tonight news anchor, Bob Warman, in recognition of her beautiful artwork.

Nine people from across the West Midlands were presented with certificates having been nominated by family and friends for the national award.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Warman said: “A stroke can have a devastating impact on people’s lives but Yvonne has shown there is life after stroke.

"She discovered her love of art after her stroke and is now producing some beautiful paintings.”

The Stroke Association includes art therapy in its Life After Stroke services as it provides a sense of achievement, confidence, friendship and a change of environment for stroke survivors.

Her stroke, nearly 10 years ago, left her with a right-sided paralysis, complete loss of speech and difficulty swallowing.

She first became interested in art when she went to college with the Acquired Brain Injury Education Service (ABIES).

She joined an art class three-and-a-half years ago, starting with pencil sketches. She draws and paints with her non-dominant left hand.

The class has helped enhance her fine motor skills and improved her confidence to mix with other people. Her speech has improved and she can walk short distances.

Mrs Michael said: “Art has given me a passion. I lose myself in it completely. It gives me a way to express myself and I get a great sense of achievement when I see a finished painting.”

The ceremony at the Life After Stroke centre in Bromsgrove also marked the launch of the awards for 2013.

Hugh Tibbits, regional head of operations from the Stroke Association in the West Midlands, said: “It is very humbling to see how people have rebuilt their lives after stroke.”

There are nine awards and the 2013 Life After Stroke Awards nomination period is until March 1. Nominations can be made online at stroke.org.uk/LASA

Alternatively call 0207 5661540 or email lasa@stroke.org.uk and a form will be sent in the post.