Art to Heart

landscape print- Copyright Paul Jorden
Artist Paul Jorden, who has mitochondrial myopathy, has had over 500 requests for prints of a picture he painted from his hospital bed. He drew ‘Escape to the chateau’ because his carer and friend of 33 years, Steve Cuddy, had been full of stories of a Channel 4 programme with the same name.

Paul said:

He was always going on about that show so to please him, I drew a picture of the Chateau.

Steve said:

When he did this, he had a heart rate of 157 bpm, he was partially sighted, constantly shaking and couldn’t really hold a pencil. I thought it was absolutely amazing, and to prove it, I created a Facebook page.

Within two days, Steve showed Paul over a thousand likes and comments on the Escape to the Chateau fan club Facebook page, as well as lots of requests to buy prints and donate to MDUK.

Passionate about art as a therapy, Paul, from Sutton Coldfield, says he has always known art to have a calming effect on his heart. A former graphic artist, he has done some artwork for charities, depending on his health. He produced many pictures for the nursing staff during the hospital stay. He said this kept him occupied, even through the night, when he couldn’t sleep.

Strength can come from the most unlikely source and art has been my saviour. I do also have to give just a bit of credit to Steve, who has been by my side through thick and thin.

Paul is a long-time supporter of MDUK. Describing life with mitochondrial disease, he said he has had 42 appointments since September 2019, including 27 days in hospital. He has his own website and a limited edition of a Star Wars print on sale there. Proceeds will go to MDUK:

Steve is an avid follower of Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau because he has been involved in building an extension to a hotel he owns. He has done this alongside his work as a carer for Paul.

Now Steve has joined two more Facebook groups, The Escape to the Chateau fan club, and Escape to the Chateau DIY fan club. News of Steve’s picture on these groups has led to the overwhelming response to Steve‘s efforts and dedication.

Both men said the picture has given them a great sense of worth and purpose and they are keen to use it to build awareness for mitochondrial myopathy and the work of MDUK.


You can support Paul and Steve here