Charles Spencer, 64, had a stroke ten years ago, which left him with little speech and limited mobility.
Charles said: “I was a keen pianist before my stroke, but after my stroke I lost the use of my right side, meaning I could no longer play, or so I thought. I thought that chapter of my life was closed and loaned my grand piano to a local grammar school.”
Eight years after his stroke, he realised it was possible to learn to play the piano using his left hand, and he had his piano returned home.
He said: “I didn’t know adapted music was even composed for left handed pianists. Like I had to learn to speak and read after my stroke, I had to re-learn how to read music. However, that skill soon returned, enabling me to play using only my left hand. My friends and family have commented that my speech has also improved since starting to play again.”
“Being able to play the piano again, albeit with one-hand, has transformed my life. It’s given me a purpose and been a tremendous help in restoring a sense of self and self-worth, both of which were severely affected after my stroke. When you’re used to using two hands, you don’t give a second thought to what it’s like to have the use of only one.”
Now, Charles is encouraging others to get involved with the Stroke Association fundraiser ‘Give a Hand’ and see what they can achieve using the hand they wouldn’t normally use.
“By getting involved with ‘Give a Hand,’ hopefully many more people will able to help change the world for stroke survivors. The vital funds raised for the Stroke Association will support people like me
To find out more about ‘Give a Hand,’ please visit the Stroke Association website.