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Hatley Health Care patient enters Chilton County Peach Art Contest

Mary Nell Veazey Poland, a native of Chilton County, is a current resident at Hatley Health Care. Poland recently celebrated her 76th birthday and has been doing art since the 60s and recently had one of her pieces placed in the Chilton County Art Show held at Peoples Southern Bank. Her daughter Nelda LeCroy placed her painting in the contest for her since she is no longer able to get up and go like she used to.

Poland started painting on her own but she found her passion in teaching. She taught high school literature for 20 years, after graduating from Jacksonville State University in 1961.

“I really love doing my art and I miss being a teacher,” Poland said.

Poland is the mother of four and has 11 grandchildren. She is currently awaiting her 12th grand child who should be born soon. One of her grandsons has taken up her talents as an artist and helps his grandmother decorate her room with drawings. Although most of the pictures in her room at Hatley’s are her own works of art, she still finds room on the wall for his drawings.

During the winter of 2006 Poland suffered a massive stroke. This sudden stroke, left her mute and unable to write with her dominate hand.

LeCroy said, “Mother has always been a strong willed person and she didn’t let her stroke slow her down. Even though the doctors kept telling her that she would never talk again and that the wouldn’t be able to write she worked at it and showed everybody that she could do it.”

To make up for not having the use of her right hand Poland started practicing with her left hand and has now started to paint again. Her nurses at Hatley’s say that she is an inspiration to not only the residents in the building but also to the employees who help take care of her.

“Mother is such an inspiration. Her creativity and intelligence have not been stopped by this massive stroke and she continues to bless others daily and gives glory to God for her recovery,” LeCroy said.