Shea in exam room with art

Mar 25, 2019 / Spotlight

Share Your Story: The Independent Artist

Meet Shea, a patient who is treated by our experts. Learn more about her journey below.

Blog written by Shea, of Wylie. 

Hey, this is Shea! My journey began when I was born with cerebral palsy (CP), back in May of 2000. My mom's uterus ruptured during labor, which dumped me into her abdomen and due to the lack of oxygen, I was born with this condition. CP is a brain injury which affects muscle control, coordination, tone and also causes reflex and balance issues. It was a scary experience for everyone, and the doctor said my mom and I were both lucky to be alive. 
 
I was brought to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children as a very young child to begin my treatment. Dr. Sucato was my doctor for orthopedic care and fitted me for a leg brace to help me walk, plus other orthotics. I saw Dr. Sparagana for my neurology visits. He always checked my X -rays to makes sure I was growing healthy. When I was younger, we tried a medication for my dystonia, however I did not have the best of luck with it, so I got off of it. Last year I even had an EEG.

My experience at Scottish Rite Hospital was always very pleasant. All of my doctors and nurses were so nice and helpful.

Growing up was obviously a bit different for me. I didn’t walk until I was about 2 years old. However, I always taught myself to overcome everything. I used to lick my hand to pick up cheerios, I figured out how to open my hands by holding a ball or for some reason, putting my hand behind my back used to helped me get my hands open. I went to school just like any other child and now I am 18 years old and attending college.
 
Since I have had cerebral palsy my entire life, I have learned to adapt to everything. I am very independent and enjoy going shopping and hanging out with friends. However, my true passion is art. I started coloring from the time I could hold a pencil. I hold pencils unlike anyone else, but it works for me.
 
I always participated in some kind of art class in school and as soon as I started high school, I signed up for Pre-AP Art. That was the year art truly became my grit. During that year, my passion and talent grew and grew. Each year of high school, I entered VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event) and Celebrate the Arts. I won many ribbons and medals through the years. My senior year was my proudest year. I took AP-Art and it was a great challenge and joy at the same time.

I pushed myself to try new techniques and put more effort into improving.

Fruits and vegetables were my concentration for my portfolio and although it seems random, I really enjoy drawing the details and vibrant colors. I like drawing other things too, such as people and scenery. Since graduating high school, I have done a few commission pieces of art for people that were very impressed with my work.
 
I’m going to college for my Associates of Arts degree. I hope to become either an art teacher or an art therapist. All of my art teachers have made such an impact on my life and I would love to have that impact on someone else’s. I would also like to become an art therapist because I want to help people escape and be able to enjoy painting or drawing as much as I do. I know for certain I want art to be my career in some way.


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