A man paralysed by a rare condition with no cure has started creating stunning artwork – using only his EYES.
Ron Wheeler, 47, was diagnosed with motor neuron disease last year and gradually lost control of his body.
He is one of just 5,000 living with the condition, which affects the neurones in the brain and spinal cord.
Ron, an ex-printer and artist has now lost the majority of his movement as well as his voice – but he’s not giving up.
Now he makes captivating and abstract digital artwork that wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery.
Ron, of Plymouth, Devon, is building up a portfolio of impressive ethereal scenes using his Eye Gaze tablet system to create his work, and also uses it to communicate, much like the late Stephen Hawking.
Karen, 42, Ron’s wife, said: “He uses his Eye Gaze and creates the images with Photoshop.
“It’s time-consuming, he’ll do one per day and that’s it basically.
“He uses his eyes and one finger. He’s done about 30 I’d say.
“He’s selling them, he creates calendars and sells them for £10 a time. We’ve sold about 38 so far and have got another 20 on order.
“It’s a great therapy. Because he’s housebound and I’m out all the time, it’s our daughter that does a lot of the caring and he’s alone a bit.
“He just thinks of the images in the night and when he gets up he starts drawing them, he does it whenever he’s in the house on his own.
“He does it religiously.”
Before his deterioration, Ron would create renderings of elegant ships and emotive ocean scenes, alongside commissions for pets and other animals.
Karen added: “He wanted to do art as his career but his mum wouldn’t let him go to art college.
“His illness has brought it out of him in a way, he’s always been a keen artist but now he gets to create things all the time.”
Describing his condition, Ron said: “It causes gradual paralysis.
“MND can affect the way we walk, talk, hold things and breathe. It is a fatal disease which kills a third within a year and a half within two years.
“At first it was a struggle, emotionally and coming to terms with it, but we all pulled together – family and friends.
“MND really affects everyone around the person with the disease, but we have tried to make life as normal as anyone could possibly do.
“We get a lot of help from our care team, who are fantastic.
“Some may think because of such a severe disease and disability, life is basically over.
“No one person experiences MND in the same way.
“I consider myself extremely lucky as my progression is slower than most, so I have made it my priority to do all I can to raise awareness.”
Part of Ron’s fight for awareness revolves around selling his digital paintings under the hashtag #artforMND.
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