Double amputee takes on NEOS challenge

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A Johnshaven artist who has gone through life altering operations over the last two years will open the doors of her studio to the public this week as she takes part in NEOS for the first time since losing both of her legs.

Pam Hamilton had her first leg amputated two years ago due to life-long diabetes and only months later had her second leg amputated. This will be the Johnshaven artist’s fourth year taking part in NEOS and is gearing up for the usual thousand visitors she attracts every year.

Pam has been diabetic for most of her life, being diagnosed with the condition when she was just 10 years old and she knew all of her life that the amputations could be a possibility. However this hasn’t stopped the artist’s dream or finally living by the sea nor has it dampened her spirits.

The painter exhibited two years ago after coming straight out of hospital after her first amputation and never managed last year, but this year the Johnshaven artist is making a comeback.

Ms Hamilton who gets about on prosthetic limbs or by using her wheelchair can only make it as far as the village shop and said: “I used to walk a lot and I really miss that, but it really doesn’t bother me at all, it was either losing my legs or losing my life, and I know what I would rather have. My life hasn’t actually changed that much!”

The artist, originally from Motherwell, spent a total of eight and a half months in hospital and said that painting helped her a great deal during her long stay at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Ms Hamilton says the local art community is great and she’s always busy during NEOS. Despite losing both legs she said she couldn’t miss out on it again: “I absolutely love doing NEOS, it might be a bit more t iring this year but it’s the event of the year!”