A FORMER window fitter has launched his art career in a bid to recover from a severe stroke which left him partially paralysed.

Chris Jiggins, 41, spent more than six months in hospital after he returned from work feeling ill.

What followed was four months in Broomfield Hospital and then a ten-week stint in a rehabilitation centre in Maldon where Chris worked to try to regain movement back into the right side of his body.

He is now back at his home off Head Street, Halstead, where his long-term partner Natalie Creevy and one-year-old son Parker are helping him to piece his life back together again.

Though Chris is now able to walk again, with the aid of a stick, it is unlikely he will recover enough to be able to return to his previous job.

So, as part of his recovery, Chris is launching a career as an artist instead.

He said: “The stroke is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

“I don’t remember a lot about what happened.

“I got in one evening from work feeling ill and went to bed.

“Next thing I knew I woke up in hospital and my whole life had changed.

“I didn’t really have the strength to start painting before but I seemed to have had an attitude change.

“I used to be a pessimist but I’m more positive these days.

“My art took off when I started doing a few bits and pieces for people.

“This is sort of ideal for me as I can relax at home but am still keeping myself busy.

“I guess it’s like escapism, it gets your brain going and allows you to get away from everything.

“Art has always been a love of mine and this might be my big break.

“I would like to get back to doing murals in the future, I remember doing them at college. But I’m not getting too far ahead of myself, I’ll just see where it takes me.”

His work will be on display at Colne Engaine Village Hall, Station Road, on Sunday, November 19.

To find out more, visit https://www.facebook.com/C.s.jiggins/