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Tidelands Health stroke patient uses passion for painting during rehabilitation

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 5:41 PM EST
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - A woman recovering from a recent stroke is proving that nothing will keep her from her passions in life.

The resilience of the human spirit is admirable in Betsy Havens. The 77-year-old turned her life-long passion to paint into rehab therapy at Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Hospital.

“It is a humongous amount of growth when you realize that you can make your own way along with you through this hardship,” said Havens.

Havens uses her passion forart to help her during her rehabilitation at Tidelands Health...
Havens uses her passion forart to help her during her rehabilitation at Tidelands Health Hospital.(wmbf)

In November, Havens went to Georgetown Hospital after having symptoms of a stroke. An MRI showed she suffered from a stroke on the right side of her brain, affecting her entire left side.

On Thanksgiving Day, she came to Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Hospital.

At first, she couldn’t eat or drink, had difficulty speaking, and had limited motor skills.

Her occupational therapist, Michelle Anderso,n worked with Havens to help her regain her everyday skills in movement and function.

Havens began painting when she was just 12 years old, so her care team wanted to find ways to incorporate her art into her recovery.

“There was always that possibility from a neurological, from her brain that might have been affected, so I think it was a big relief for her and all of us that it didn’t affect her painting and the artist that she is,” said Anderson.

Anderson says they’d set up paintings for Havens. Sitting down to paint allowed her to work on increasing control, balance, and motor skills.

She can now sit on her own, stand while holding onto something and has recently taken a few steps with the help of parallel bars.

The care team says it’s a long road for stroke recovery, but they believe she’ll continue to grow and progress.

“Her resilience and her strength that she has from inside is a major part of her recovery,” said nurse Supervisor Tammy Hubbard.

Next week her care team is giving her a special sendoff when she’s able to leave the hospital.

Havens is an expressionist artist that paints abstract art. She painted this in the hospital...
Havens is an expressionist artist that paints abstract art. She painted this in the hospital and it sold in just one day after being posted on her social media accounts.(wmbf)

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