Jason Parker spoke to the West Sussex Gazette about how he has rebuilt his life, in a bid to raise awareness of the Stroke Association’s new campaign.
The stroke occurred when Jason was raking leaves in his garden in December 2019, with scans later showing that he had suffered a bleed in his brain which was the size of a tennis ball.
Speaking about his feelings at the time, Jason said, ‘I felt suddenly tired, thinking I needed a break. I then noticed that I couldn’t tell my left leg to kick a football. I then fell over and realised I couldn’t use my left arm either. My throat was tightening. I had to crawl with one arm back up to the house to call for help’. He also mentioned how it was his wife, Victoria, who realised that her husband was experiencing a stroke.
Speaking on the difficulties of recovery, Jason explained that the key is not giving in: ‘The speed of recovery then slowed and became frustrating, but it does still keep improving with repetition and stubbornness. You have to keep at it, it’s really tough’.
He also discussed some other side effects of dealing with this kind of health issue. He added, ‘I would like people to understand how difficult the mental side is, what fatigue – rather than tiredness – actually is and how you can make rapid progress with determination and the right support’.
He also made reference to the fact that despite the excellent treatment he received in hospital, as well as the well-meaning intentions of the aftercare he received, this was not sufficient in helping him with his recovery.
The Stroke Association provides specialist support, funds critical research and campaigns to make sure people affected by stroke get the very best care and support to rebuild their lives. A stroke can affect movement, speech, vision, memory, with two thirds of survivors finding themselves living with a disability. Their new campaign, entitled ‘Hope After Stroke’, is calling for donations, in order to support the 1.3m stroke survivors in the UK. To learn more, or to donate, please visit https://www.stroke.org.uk.
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