WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Local artist Ivey Hayes is famous for his unique, colorful paintings. Sadly, Hayes was temporarily left crippled and unable to paint. But now he says a miracle has given him a way to continue his passion.
Today Hayes presented the first painting he's ever done with his left hand to the doctor he says gave him the ability to pick up a paint brush again.
Hayes began painting in elementary school. He truly became passionate about his art when he was crippled by rheumatoid arthritis and used painting as a method of therapy. But Hayes recently suffered a blood clot in his dominate, right hand. The clot caused nerve damage and made painting impossible.
"I really thought really as an artist my career or something I really love to do was over, because of this tremendous blood clot I had in my arm," Hayes said.
Hayes began seeing chiropractor Donald Reese to relieve some of his pain. Reese says the adjustments helped to lift Hayes's energy. With the pain under control, Hayes was encouraged by his brother to try brush strokes in his left hand. The new method of painting was successful.
"I realized very shortly, within maybe less than an hour, that, man, this is really great, because, hey I'm still an artist but left-handed now," Hayes said.
As a special gift of thanks, Hayes presented his first left-handed painting to Reese today in a small ceremony.
"I'm amazed and honored that he would actually do this, because he had such great results with chiropractic," Dr. Reese said. "You know, he's obviously not gonna be running down the street, but he functions very well, and he's back painting."
Hayes says the artistic gift in his left hand is a miracle. He plans to continue painting for as long as he can.
Hayes says he is in the process of working on a group of 15 to 18 paintings using his left hand.