Hannah-Kate Lindfield passed away peacefully on 25 November 2014 at home surrounded by her family, friends and her beloved guide dog ‘Bella’.
Her family have since set up this charity to offer counselling for young people with facial disfigurement.
From birth, Hannah bravely and without complaint, faced numerous surgical procedures. Images in the ‘other mediums’ section capture some of her early operations in Great Ormond Street Hospital, these amounted to a total of over 120 general anaesthetics during her brief life of 23 years. Undaunted, Hannah completed a significant proportion of her Advanced Level art course in a hospital bed and yet still managed to gain an A*.
However, three months in intensive care from September to December 2013, left Hannah with a loss of movement in the right side of her body. She later wrote a poem ‘Hospital’ that beautifully describes her courageous journey through these months, see below:
Tubes like spaghetti junction
Where do they stop?
Where do they begin?
In this bed, a machine breathes
I am like a corpse that isn’t yet dead
I’ve given up, let me go
For a time I was in limbo
But something changed
I can hear their voices
Convincing me to fight
What if I slip?
Who will catch me?
That’s a silly question,
My family of course.
On her eventual return home, Hannah found walking difficult and paralysis in her right hand meant she was unable to accurately capture on canvas the fine detailed images that she held in her head. With great reluctance, she withdrew from her Fine Art degree at Plymouth College of Art and Design. After some months away from her ‘shed’, the urge to paint was so strong that she picked up tubes of paint and learnt to paint all over again with her left hand. Her later works of art are noticeable for the broad sweeps of colour with less detail, paint thickly applied using a palette knife.
She wrote several poems that describe her feelings and emotions, including a short poem that perfectly captures her life
you walk through air,
I walk through water.’
Her funeral included her poem ‘Life’
Life is unfair,
This was a feeling I could never share,
Tired of those tears and my fears.
After each fall I will rise again.
What if I don’t rise?
I have been through so much
It is amazing I made it through.
The lessons I have learnt
I am shocked I pulled through.
Remember who you are,
Who you want to become.
Everything will fall into place,
When the time comes.