A 49-year-old dad from Indiana thought his life was over, and it was easy to see why. An illness had shut off his brain. Suddenly, Rick Johnston found himself unable to do some of the simplest tasks like walking properly or speaking correctly. But did he suffer a stroke? Doctors said he didn’t, but something caused his brain to convince his body he had suffered a stroke. After all, he had all the symptoms. Now he had to learn how to communicate again. But in the process, he discovered he had an innate talent for painting.“My brain essentially shut off,” Johnston shared with People. “Along the way, my speech was taken from me and my ability to walk was taken.” Doctors had no explanation for what happened. They only knew that the right side of his body had gone numb.
Most people in his condition would have given up and stayed in bed. But Johnston was a fighter in need of a little push. Unfortunately, his family alone wasn’t able to motivate him, so he found what he needed from an unlikely source.
The Indiana father thought this was ridiculous. “My exact words were, ‘You’re crazy. I can’t paint. I’m not an artist by any stretch,” he said. Eventually, Johnston did pick up a paintbrush and was shocked by his newfound ability.
Painting became therapeutic and he found himself driven to continue doing it. In the process, he found that it helped him release anxiety and tension. He also discovered he had a knack for it. Johnston has painted horses, cows, flowers and farms and they’re all truly magnificent.
Since his illness struck, he has found it difficult getting a lot of sleep, so he focuses a lot of his energy on painting, which he considers a gift. He doesn’t know how he’s able to paint all of a sudden, but he’s no longer looking for an explanation for his ability. He’s just grateful he has it.
Lauren created a Facebook page called “The Bearded Painter” to show off Johnston’s amazing work. People can even request to purchase his paintings. The money he makes from his artwork will get donated to nonprofit organizations he loves.
She’s still very impressed by how her dad has continued to grow as an artist while he learns to cope with his condition. It shows that the human spirit is indomitable and can achieve whatever it sets out to do.