A STROKE sufferer has opened a puzzle stall after solving one helped him recover.

Jon Jones, from Accrington, had a stroke over a year ago and was not able to recover until he started doing puzzles, and has since opened his own puzzles stall at Accrington Market.

The former security guard’s life changed when he lost the ability to talk, eat and move, and was in recovery for five months.

Mr Jones, who is 55, said: “I was like a baby, I could not walk, eat, go to the toilet alone, or even speak.

“I felt like the whole world had crashed around me.

“A small thing like eating toast was difficult and I had to be very careful not to choke.

“Nobody would employ someone, and I was depressed.”

After a nurse gave Mr Jones a puzzle to do, he became more focussed, and found his hands stopped shaking as much.

He said: “It took me three months before I could do anything, and I bought ten puzzles when I realised how it was helping.

“I went to the market and nobody was doing this, nobody was selling puzzles and letting people swap them," said Mr Jones.

“My grandma used to have a market stall of her own with puzzles, and I thought if she can do it, so can I.”

Mr Jones now has a large collection of puzzles at his stall and allows people to swap puzzles for a small fee.

He said: “Quite a few customers are either in my shoes or they were a while ago too.

“People wanted to buy and swap them, and now I have got about 300 puzzles.

“My grandson helps me, and now people bring their friends," he said.

"There are carers who come and bring puzzles for the people they look after.

Mr Jones wants to help others who have been or are in the same position and may have lost full mobility.

He said:” “I have had one gentleman who had a stroke come to me and tell me he had never done a puzzle.”

“He was twitching, so I gave him a nice easy puzzle and told him he would notice the difference in two weeks.”

“A lot of people are shocked when they see how many puzzles I have, and it beings out the nostalgia in them because they may have done them as children,” Mr Jones added.