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Cardiff man who survived electrocution learns to paint again with other hand

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Kevin Strong was 36ft up in the air working on overhead cables when he was hit with 12,000 volts in the back of the neck.

It travelled down his right arm causing severe damage with the shock destroying most of the skin in his arm.

Kevin was so ill, doctors at Morriston Hospital told his family he may not make it through the night.

When it became clear he would live, he had to decide between keeping the arm or amputation. Having been a keen amateur artist for 20 years - he was right handed - he opted to keep his right arm and hoped to regain movement.

A keen amateur artist, he thought he would never be able to paint again.

It blew my right arm to bits.

It looked like a rabbit squashed on the side of the road.

– Kevin Strong
Kevin's arm has now been rebuilt. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

While surgeons from the plastics unit at Morriston Hospital worked to rebuild his arm through a series of more than 35 operations, Kevin taught himself to paint and draw with his other hand.

Kevin still has the exercise book he used in hospital to repeatedly practice writing out the alphabet and you can see how his writing improved.

He believes he now paints much better using his left hand.

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Surgeons at Morriston Hospital were able to rebuild Kevin's right arm. They attached it to his stomach surgically to restore blood flow and also to get the skin to form a wrist.

Consultant Plastic Surgeon Dean Boyce took tendons from his leg and put them in his arm to restore movement to his fingers.

He's had 30 to 35 surgeries, the most recent being last year.

This month marks the fifth anniversary of his accident.

Kevin said you would never believe the way they have transformed his arm from how it was after the accident to how it looks today. He said he has now got 20 to 30% movement.