Your Health Unlocked Episodes

045: The Healing Power of Art with Wheely Good Ceramics

Publication Date: May 16, 2024

By: Rachel Grimsley, (RN, BSN, MSN) Volunteer Health Officer

Episode Trailer

Transverse Myelitis is a condition affecting the spine causing pain, changes in sensation, and often paralysis. For some, like Emily Kilby, the damage goes far up the spine, leaving her paralyzed from her shoulders down. This condition is very rare, with only 1 to 8 new cases per 1 million people per year in the US but mobility issues are far more common, effecting almost 19 million or 10%, of people in the US today. Emily embraced her new normal, finishing her master’s and using her lived experience to now impact the transport and accessibility sector of London. With the support of her devoted sister Olivia, Emily even found a way to dive back into art – via mouth painting on the ceramics Olivia makes and sells through her business, Wheely Good Ceramics.  

In this episode, you’ll learn:  

  • How Transverse Myelitis develops. 
  • The real-life impact of disability on family dynamics and personal growth.  
  • The importance of a support system when recovering from an illness. 
  • How art can be a healing force and a pathway to entrepreneurship. 
  • What mouth painting is and how Emily uses it to share her artwork. 
  • How gratitude changes our views on life. 

More about Emily and Olivia:

Emily and Olivia are two sisters from the countryside just outside of London, UK. Emily is 25 and an environment and sustainability master’s graduate from the London School of Economics and is working in the transport and accessibility sector. Olivia is 23 and a politics graduate from the University of Bristol and is self-employed with her small jewelry business. Emily contracted a rare virus in 2011 that left her paralyzed from her shoulders down. The summer after leaving University Olivia taught herself pottery, and during the same time Emily learned mouth painting. Olivia had the idea for Emily to paint Olivias pieces and then Wheely Good Ceramics was born! 

The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and entertain. All views expressed by the persons featured on the Your Health Unlocked podcast are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the NWHN or its affiliates. Information provided in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Consult your own provider for any medical issues that you may be experiencing.

Get Involved

New ways to empower health care consumers across the nation.