Stroke survivor issues warning to others

By Tristan Harris Friday 09 May 2014 Updated: 09/05 22:07

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Buy photos » Stroke survivor Steve Wright wants others to be aware of the warning signs. s

A STROKE survivor who has battled back from the debilitating illness is urging fellow residents to be aware of the warning signs.

Steve Wright was 52 when he had his stroke and it effectively left him disabled down his right side.

Speaking in Stroke Awareness Month which runs throughout May, Steve said before his full stroke, he had two mini-strokes or TIAs (transient ischaemic attacks). The first, a couple of months before, only lasted a minute and saw Steve not being able to move his mouth. The second was on the same day as his full stroke - Steve was on his drive, felt strange and thought he was just hungry. He made himself a cup of tea and a piece of toast and then went to lie down on the sofa, which he said he did not usually do. When he woke up he was on the floor and his wife asked him if he was alright. He thought he was explaining perfectly to her but, in reality, he was ‘speaking gobbledygook’.

Steve said those two incidents should have given him a clue that something was not right but, like many other people, he put them down to ‘funny turns’. The symptoms of a mini-stroke or TIA are the same as stroke but last for a short time and people appear to return to normal. Symptoms include the face falling on one side, the person not being able to raise both arms and keep them raised and slurred speech. Anyone suffering these symptoms should call 999.

Steve, who was a self-employed stationery seller, is now 58 and, thanks to his dedicated approach to his rehabilitation, assisted by Bromsgrove’s Life After Stroke Centre, he has greatly improved his quality of life.

His speech is okay 99 per cent of the time and he has regained the feeling in his right side that the stroke took away, although, he said, his movement was 50 per cent slower than it used to be.

“I’m not the type of person to sit back and accept everything and it has been three steps forward, two steps back, but I have always gone for it. People who would have seen me in 2008 would not believe I was the same person,” said Steve.

Life After Stroke Centre co-ordinator Jo Hughes was full of praise for Steve and how far he had come since his stroke. “He’s an example of how everyone should approach rehabilitation,” she said.

As well as his own rehabilitation, Steve has had a positive effect on others. He attends and helps out at the Wednesday friends group at the Life After Stroke Centre.

Jo described him as a fantastic member of the activity team.

Visit www.stroke.org.uk/LASC for more information on the centre and www.stroke.org.uk/strokemonth for more on Action on Stroke month.

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