Carving out a look back after health scare for resident

Three weeks ago John Hutchings, resident at Bupa Wattle Downs Care Home, was just eight minutes away from passing after suddenly having low oxygen levels and the ambulance was immediately called.

Amazingly, the 77 year old’s health has stabilised and his family have been showcasing some of John’s history with his handcrafted wood sculptures on display at Nathan Homestead. After the care home team couldn’t make the exhibition, John’s family arranged for the 16 sculptures to be transported to the care home.

The detailed wooden creations, that stand at approximately 30 to 77cm in height, have been carved from ideas in John’s mind using mostly Totara or swamp Kauri. His daughter Jackie Welsh says her Dad began wood carving in his late 50s after learning about the art of carpentry from his father, who was a carpenter at the BBC in London.

“Dad actually doesn’t see anything special about the pieces and saw it as a hobby before he became sick, but the detail is amazing with a little story attached to each carving,” Jackie says.

John’s been living with blood cancer for five years now and counts himself lucky to be alive after his latest health scare. He says his family wanted to give the care staff some insight into his creative side.

“The team have been wonderful and my family wanted to show them what I got up to in my retirement years,” John says.