BOSTON (WHDH) - One woman using art to help with her healing recently hosted an art show at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, showcasing work that has helped her recover from a traumatic brain injury. 

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. At Spaulding in Charlestown, Ali Rheaume helped mark the occasion Tuesday evening. 

Rheaume is an award winning artist from Franklin and a brain injury survivor. She entered Spaulding in 2017 with only 10% brain function after an injury in 2016. 

“I needed to learn how to walk, talk, eat, bathe — everything again,” Rheaume said of her recovery. 

Dr. Chris Carter, a neuro-psychiatrist, was part of Rheaume’s care team. 

“She was in a minimally responsive state at that point,” Carter said. “The interface at that stage is to try to understand how much she’s understanding [and] how she’s interacting with the environment.” 

From Spaulding, Rheaume went into speech therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology. 

As she recovered, she turned to artwork to help with her healing.

Six years later, Rheaume is a member of the Franklin Art Association. She also owns her own art business. 

“I paint things that are important to people,” Rheaume said. “So, someone gives me a picture and I turn it into a painting for them.”

Some of Rheaume’s paintings now hang in a hallway on the second floor of Spaulding. Among them, one shows the hospital itself. 

Rheaume said she hopes her work will inspire patients as they recover.

“My hope is that when somebody comes to see this gallery, they realize that somebody who was at a 10 percent functioning level — it may have taken seven years — but she’s able to do this now,” Rheaume said. “I hope they feel that hope as well.”

In addition to art, Rheaume is also a brain injury advocate. 

Rheaume and Dr. Carter are set to share Rheaume’s story at a convention this month. 

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