I was seventeen. It was the Saturday morning – the day before ‘Remembrance Sunday’. I was in a shop and began to feel really hungry so I popped next store to a cafe to buy an iced bun, I thought it was just that I hadn’t had any breakfast that I felt hungry. I went back into the shop with my ice bun, the next… Read More
I was seventeen. It was the Saturday morning – the day before ‘Remembrance Sunday’. I was in a shop and began to feel really hungry so I popped next store to a cafe to buy an iced bun, I thought it was just that I hadn’t had any breakfast that I felt hungry. I went back into the shop with my ice bun, the next thing I remember was my head on the floor looking up around me, my body felt so heavy. I couldn’t move, I tried and tried but I just could not get up. Now I was scared, really scared, frightened, I remember starting to cry it was so scary.
I didn’t know what was happening or why?
The next thing I remember is being wheeled out on a trolley to the back of an ambulance; I can recall them saying ‘try to stay awake Phil’…………..I woke, I was in a bed with these kind of prison bars that I looked through, I had tubes coming from my arm, I couldn’t focus properly on what was happening, I couldn’t see it was all sort of hazy. I couldn’t wiggle my toes? I couldn’t move……..What was happening to me? ……………I HAD A STROKE.
The whole of the left side of my body, including my face was paralysed. Couldn’t move or lift my arm or leg, I could only smile on one side of my face – not that I had a lot to smile about. I couldn’t talk, well not properly. People came and went from my bedside….I didn’t know who they were?...........I was transferred from this hospital to another.
A Brain Haemorrhage had caused my stroke.
If you have an hour or two spare I can bore you with all the stories of my hospital experiences, including the funny and not so funny ones. Oh alright then here’s a quick one – I was allowed home one weekend…….my brain had swelled during the operation and the surgeon was unable to put the bone flap on the top of my skull so they kept it in a freezer to put back later when the swelling had gone down… anyway I went home for the weekend I had no top to my skull and had a small tube inside my skull to drain off the ‘excess’ fluid.
The amusing thing was that at the height of 70’s fashion, on the day before the start of my weekend home I was issued with a brown hand knitted bobble hat without the bobble, but with a round piece of cushioning inside to protect the top of my head from sharp objects. I looked like a young flat head Frankenstein and all my ‘friends ‘wanted to take me to a darts match…….
I am making a great recovery now – I can walk, talk and I love life.
As you can imagine I am passionate about stroke. I have an impossible dream …. That no one should have a stroke. I have learnt to live with mine. I dedicate my work now to providing whatever support I can to others affected by stroke. I give peer support; I have set up innovative support groups across London, Essex, and across other parts of the UK. I encourage others to stay motivated on the road to recovery. I provide training in ‘stroke awareness’ and other services. I attend Parliamentary working groups for stroke, I have been involved in work with the Stroke Improvement Programme, Care Quality Commission, National Stroke Strategy, Stroke Networks, Local Authorities, health and social care providers, charities and other third sector organisations. I encourage collaborative working across all sectors to prevent strokes, raise awareness of stroke and to support the independence of those including families and carers affected by stroke.
I just want to make the world a better place for people affected by stroke Read Less