Ian Blache at The Old Barn.

Stroke victim rebuilds life with furniture skill

A stroke patient is launching into a new life after losing everything at the age of 40.

Ian Blache had an 11-year career in youth justice when he suffered a major stroke at the relatively young age.

It completely changed his life and put him on the road to launching a new business to rebuild a future.

“I lost everything – I had a flat but had to give the keys back because I had to give up work,” he said.

“I loved my job, but couldn’t do it after the stroke. It all changed for me,” he said.

Ian, of Whaplode, had no prior warning of what was to come when he woke up with a headache three years ago.

“It was really bad, but I was living on my own and didn’t have to communicate with anyone so I just drove to work as usual,” he said.

It was only when colleagues noticed he was having serious issues in making himself understood that he thought something might be wrong.

“I went to my girlfriend’s and she took me to the doctor who sent me straight to hospital.

“I had suffered a massive stroke, but fortunately had no physical effects – so it didn’t look like I had anything wrong,” he said.

He had been living in Coventry at the time and when it became clear he would be unable to resume his old life, he moved in with his parents.

“The stroke impacted on everything and I spent months unable to communicate or really function,” he said.

So he returned to a family tradition of working with furniture.

“My parents once had a shop and I was an upholsterer many years ago.

“I wanted to go back to it, but not just re-upholstering three-piece suites. I wanted to work on individual pieces for people,” he said.

Ian, now 43, spent several weeks working to create a workshop and showroom at White House Farm, Moulton Seas End, which has been opened for around a month.

“My aim is to create pieces that will complement the home of anyone with an eye for the unusual,” he said.

He breathes new life into a range of items either on commission, or for re-sale at his showroom.

“It is unusual to find myself back doing the work that had inspired me all those years ago.

“I have come back around full circle to something I can be passionate about again.

“Looking back at what had happened to me, it was not a full stop, just a pause.” he said.

For more details visit www.furnichair-addicts.co.uk

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