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Award finalist Elaine is ‘amazing’

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By Tom Hanley
Dumfries and West
Award finalist Elaine is 'amazing'

AN ‘INSPIRATIONAL’ woman who had to relearn how to walk and talk has been nominated for an award.

Elaine Smith, of Dumfries, worked as a health worker in a care home for the elderly before she was diagnosed as having an arachnoid cyst on her brain, which required an urgent operation.
Afterwards, she had to relearn many things that are taken for granted, such as walking and talking, before enrolling in various courses in order to keep her brain stimulated.
So far, Elaine, 40, has tried her hand at computing courses, is hoping to do a digital skills award in the near future, and is now a finalist in the Adult Learners’ Week awards, which is being held in Glasgow on February 3.
Councillor Jeff Leaver, chairman of the council’s children, young people and lifelong learning committee, visited Elaine to speak with her about her journey so far.
He said: “Elaine is an inspirational young woman who has clearly demonstrated that she has amazing resilience to be able to overcome her many difficulties and hurdles presented to her.”
Explaining her journey, Elaine said: “I feel that by attending the classes it has helped promote my independence. Before attending the centre I didn’t get out of the house much as I was unable to go anywhere on my own.
“But for the couple of hours I’m at the centre, I am on my own, which in turn has increased my confidence.
“I was recently told I would be unable to return to work on grounds of health and although I was initially devastated, coming to the North West Resource Centre has helped me to come to terms with this.
“It was like one door closing on me but I had found and opened another one. It has taught me to focus on what I can do, not on what I can no longer do.”
Elaine is keeping a blog of her journey from diagnosis which can be found online at www.myarachnoidcystjourney.com.

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