MOSS BLUFF, LA (KPLC) - Artist Frank Thompson's stained glass windows can be found in at least 35 churches in this region. But his fused glass art has gained a national reputation. The glass, raised above an aluminum background evokes shimmering light and water, nature, even, spirituality perhaps.
Yet Frank is recovering from a health scare that, amazingly, began with a small cut that turned into a near catastrophic illness.
"Usually I have pain with my work. I ignore it, take a couple of Advil and continue on. Well, there started to be swelling in my arm and it got worse and worse and then I kind of don't remember too much after that," said Thompson.
What they thought was the flu was not. Instead cellulitis and sepsis, that could have been deadly, began to overtake him.
"First the fear that I was going to be a widow. When I would come home to change I was like, 'Oh gosh, please don't let him die on me,'" said Eva, his wife and business manager.
After surgeries and 17 days in the hospital, things are much better... though there will be weeks, if not months of therapy.
."I still don't have any feeling or movement in this hand so I have to use the splint and that kind of helps hold my wrist," said Frank.
There are unfinished church windows and fused glass, but the couple is optimistic Frank will regain the use of arm. Still…
""It is a little disheartening when I try to do something that's simple like brushing my teeth and I get my toothbrush in my eye and (laughter) that happened already," said Frank.
Bills still have to be paid, so they plan to try to participate in a few art shows as he recovers and try to sell what's in stock in the gallery next to their home.
But their faith is unwavering.
"Every morning when I woke up I had a saying, it's kind of what got me through. I said, 'I know God you're going to provide everything I need today...I don't know how, but you will," said Eva.
So, while the artist's tool is still, the inspiration for creative expression runs strong.
"I love what I do. I'm very passionate about it. I love to be able to create things that begin in the mind and are manifested into a physical reality," said Frank.
But for now, Thompson's reality is to take care and recover so he can get back to his work.