A moment that changed me: I was in a chaotic place after an MS diagnosis and escaped into woodcarving

I was forced to take early retirement and was also struggling to deal with grief, but immersing myself in something creative in a beautiful woodland setting turned my life around

One night in 2011, I woke up in an ambulance. I had gone to bed as normal, and the next thing I knew I was in a stretcher, my wife at the end of it, crying. I’d had a seizure in the middle of the night. An MRI scan and other tests showed that I had MS and epilepsy.

That year, my brother-in-law had died of a heart attack, and not long after I was diagnosed, my sister was diagnosed with cancer. She died in the middle of 2012, and I lost a good friend around the same time. I was struggling to get to grips with my illness – by then, I’d had another significant seizure – and cope with grief.

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