An architect paralysed by a stroke communicates with the outside world with the only thing he can remember – drawings and plans of HOUSES.
Phil Jones, 68, was left unable to move down his right hand side and without the ability to speak, read or write after the brain haemorrhage in 2005.
But he has since developed a unique method of interacting with his wife Deana to tell her what he needs – using the architect’s eye that he developed during his career.
Right-handed Phil uses his left hand to drawn plans of their home to get his point across and direct her to what he needs.
For example if he fancies some fruit from the kitchen he starts by drawing a plan of his house, working down towards the kitchen and where the fruit bowl is.
Deana, 56, says it can take all day to work out what he wants – recently taking from the morning to the evening to discover he wanted a BANANA.
His wife says simple conversations can last all day – but she has been amazed at what her husband has been able to achieve.
She said: “When he had his stroke he was also hit with aphasia, a condition that affects a person’s ability to speak, read, or write. He now has to draw with his left hand.
“But it didn’t take away his ability to see things as architects do, that bird’s eye view.
“If, for example, Phil wants some fruit, it would be too hard for him to just draw this because of the aphasia so he would draw a map of the house and focus on the kitchen and work down through the drawn plans to the core of what he wants.
“We might start a conversation in the morning and not finish until later in the day because it is hard work to know what he is saying, but we stick with it.”
The couple only met a year before Phil’s stroke, which left the then fit and active 58-year-old in hospital for six months.
Deana said: “I am so proud of Phil. We met dancing, which he can’t do any more but he still loves music.
“This is just the life journey that we are on. It is different from where we started but there is always a way forward.”
Victoria Sadler from the charity Connect that supports stroke and aphasia sufferers, said Phil’s achievements were remarkable.
She said: “People with aphasia have full comprehension but can’t communicate, which is very frustrating and isolating.
“Phil communicates beautifully by drawing pictures, the most beautiful and precise pictures.
“His achievements are mammoth and we are all very proud of him.”