Just over 15 months ago, Tessa Trinchini was diagnosed with an aneurysm in the part of her brain that controls motor skills and sensory skills.
It was a small aneurysm but in a dangerous part of the brain.
Just two months after her diagnosis, she was told she needed emergency surgery because the aneurysm had grown faster than normal.
Tessa was told that there was a high risk of death because of the aneurysm’s location but that the surgery was necessary.
The fear of surgery for Tessa was immense as, being a mother of two, she was worried about her children dealing with this situation as they had no other family; the children were dealing with their father’s death in 2017.
Tessa said it was hard for her sorting out her affairs and writing last words for her children.
In February 2021, Tessa had the surgery. It was successful but Tessa lost the vision in her right eye, she could not walk on her own, everything seemed loud and bright, she couldn’t understand what people said and could not read or write correctly.
Every week she had to go back to hospital for an hour each of physio, speech, neuropsychology and OT. Tessa had to relearn basic skills such as using the phone, cooking, reading and writing. She was still unable to walk without aid.
Tessa couldn’t do anything that use to be so simple for her before the surgery. Even today, she still can’t go outdoors; her brain feels like it’s on fire and she starts to get severe headaches and fatigue.
She says that she is still unsteady on her feet and suffers short-term memory problems; she often forgets what she said five minutes previously.
After years of an active life, Tessa now found herself unable to partake even in the basics of life led to complete boredom.
She needed a hobby she could do indoors so she decided to have a go at painting. She had never drawn or painted in her life but decided she would buy a canvas, some acrylic paints and give it a go.
Her recovery has taken a long time and definitely the hardest thing Tessa ever had to do. Painting is the only thing where she doesn’t have to think; it allows her brain the much-needed time to heal, and relax.
Tessa couldn’t draw before surgery; she still goes through extreme trauma to paint today.
Even though recovery is a hard and tough process, she is glad that something positive and beautiful came out of it because she believes she can produce beautiful art work although she feels is a little different.
Tessa felt she lost who she was after surgery and, through painting, rediscovered who she can become.
Tessa is enjoying exploring this new side of her since surgery. Painting has been the one thing that she does that helped in so many ways for her recovery.
She is planning a solo exhibition in August at the Ipswich Community Centre and hopes that people will understand the emotions she has to deal with on a daily basis.
Tessa learnt that with practice you can only get better; she looks at her first paintings and can see improvements in her work.
Shea won the Abstract Category at this year’s Ipswich Shoes Fine Art Section.