Before I had my stroke in February 2019, I had a TIA – that day was crazy. I had driven from my main offices over the North York Moors and, on my return, part of my face went numb. In hindsight I was lucky to have a TIA first otherwise when the day of my stroke came, I wouldn’t have had a clue what was happening. On a Sunday I woke up feeling fine initially, but then quickly, I deteriorated. My neck began to hurt, and I got a blinding headache like nothing before. I began feeling sick very quickly, so I tried to leave the Living Room. My short to the door became an obstacle course as I could barely walk or coordinate my legs. By the time I got to the door, I collapsed to the floor and began violently vomiting. It was a weird mix of feeling like someone had hit me with a hammer, mixed with the worst hangover imaginable and a strange serving of the unnerving ability of not being able to control your own body. I was lucky to be aware a stroke may happen, but the unknown scared me, however, I took it well and decided before the ambulance came that I was going to get through this. I was with my family and they took me to the local hospital. When there, I don’t remember much other than being blue lighted to a major trauma hospital.
During my stay in hospital, I decided that I wasn’t old enough for my life to crumble so I decided it wouldn’t. The stroke I had meant I couldn’t walk, and my balance is still shot but that didn’t stop from getting my family, nurses and physio to try and help me walk every two hours every day!
Life after stroke, for me, was mixed with coming to terms with other illnesses too but I had the support of my family who got me through the year I never thought I’d get through. I was relentless in hospital and out of hospital – recovering to the best of my ability became my hope and dreams. I never let up with the physio. I try to make myself to practice my handwriting, my memory and my balance every day.
I work in the Ops HUB for road maintenance and repairs in North Yorks. Around that, I try to spend time with my family, partner and friends who have given me so much to fight for. I also like to try and be part of the community and lend an encouraging hand to those going through similar or struggling. I’ve just started to take up hobbies again, starting with photography. I’ve always been artistic but the past year that has been a struggle to continue with. Now, I can stand still 7 seconds feet apart and 17 together and I’ve just started to be able to whistle again. It’s an exciting time right now for my recovery.
I am excited to support A Stroke of Luck. Their aims and objectives meet firmly with mine. Being active has been a huge benefit to my recovery and I want to help other survivors get active.