At just 14, Brenna Collie from Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, suffered a stroke and had to learn to walk again as well as come to terms with her ‘new normal’.
Two years on, she decided to document her struggle to recover in her Higher Photography portfolio through 12 striking images.
Brenna’s mum encouraged her to enter one of the images into the Scottish Portrait Awards and ‘Trapped’, an image conveying the fear she felt the night of her stroke, was recognised towards the end of last year as the winning entry.
Aberdeenshire Council’s education and children’s services committee recognised the achievements of Brenna before discussion got underway at their council meeting in January. Brenna, who is currently in S6 at Mintlaw Academy, was invited to share her journey with elected members.
Brenna explained: ‘Other than learning how to walk, the aftermath of my stroke affected me in many ways, and still does to this day. In making my portfolio I wanted to be completely honest, and it not only shows my physical recovery, but also my emotional recovery, and the things that helped me through it. I’m really keen to raise awareness of childhood stroke, in whatever way I can, turning my experience into a positive experience by helping others.’
Education and children’s services committee chair, Councillor Gillian Owen added: ‘We are incredibly proud of Brenna’s achievements, the courage she has shown throughout what must have been an incredibly difficult time for a young person in particular to go through, and the commitment she continues to demonstrate to such an important cause by sharing her story with us.’
To see Brenna’s winning entry, visit: https://www.scottishportraitawards.com/spa-youth-awards