By Lucy Ashton
An artist and former patient has donated paintings to the neurology department at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital following her life changing brain surgery.
Helen Butler, 42, started painting a month after she underwent surgery to remove the hippocampus and the right temporal lobe of her brain to help control her epileptic seizures.
This type of surgery can be considered in some patients with this form of epilepsy who do not respond to treatment with anti-epilepsy medicines.
As a result of the surgery in 2018, she is now seizure free and has been able to live an independent life and as a thank you, has now donated a number of her paintings to the hospital to show her gratitude for the treatment she received.
Helen said: “I cannot thank the neurology department at the QEUH enough for the treatment and care they provided for me.
“I had the surgery in 2018 and I am now four years seizure free and one year medication free. I used to have up to 25 seizures a week and now I have passed my driving test.
“After my surgery, I decided to take up painting to help deal with stress as it was an escape and helped keep my mind occupied.
“Now I have managed to sell paintings around the world to help raise awareness and funding for epilepsy and brain surgery.”
Helen has become a mentor for those who are anxious about undergoing brain surgery and it was through this support group that she was able to make the decision to undergo the procedure.
She added: “At first I was extremely anxious about the surgery but now I am delighted I went through with it.
“I now act as mentor for other people looking at brain procedures and if it wasn’t for this group, I may not have decided to have the surgery. The operations sound really daunting but since I have been through that journey I can show other people through my art that it can be a good thing.
“The staff at the QEUH really put me at ease in what was a very stressful time and I hope these paintings show how grateful I am for the life changing help I received.”
Dr Russell Hewett, Neurologist and Helen’s consultant, pictured with Helen at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
The neurology department was delighted to receive Helen’s donations and hopes it could inspire others with similar conditions.
Dr Russell Hewett, Neurologist and Helen’s consultant, said: “I would like to share my thanks to Helen for the kind donations of these excellent art pieces that will look fantastic in the neurology department.
“It is so pleasing to see how far Helen has come since her surgery back in 2018 and it is excellent news that she is now seizure and medication free.
“It helps to highlight the work our neurology teams undergo to ensure the best possible care and treatment for our patients and I would like to thank everyone involved in making Helen’s journey a success.”
For more information on Helen’s story and to access her art work, please log on to her website at www.h2odesigns.co.uk or on social media @h2odesigns1.