It was 06.30. I went to get my car from the garage to go to work. Half way there I found myself lying against the side wall of my house. One half of me did not work, I could not feel it. It seemed to be made from rubber. Somehow I crawled back in through the still open front door of the house calling for my wife, Barbara. She was upstairs, heard me, but could not understand what I was saying and came downstairs to find me. As she said, ‘talking rubbish’. She managed to get me to the settee, grabbing the phone on the way, and rang 999.
The Paramedic arrived within minutes and advised us that an ambulance was on the way. I arrived at YDH within half an hour and was hooked up to the ECG machine and eventually taken to the Stroke Ward.
It was later confirmed following a scan, that I had had two small bleeds on the right-hand side of my brain.
My condition improved in the care of the excellent Stroke Ward staff.
On my third day in the ward I was approached by a member of the nursing staff about taking part in a trial of a new drug. (RESEARCH!) After giving this some thought I agreed and was signed up. It was a decision I have never regretted.
I eventually went back to work just over four months after my stroke, still taking my normal medication plus the trial one. However I was not allowed to do my normal job as a driver.
Every six months for three years I had a full medical and the results were fine. Then the tests ended and I must admit that I missed the reassurance of the medical checks, especially for the confidence which they inspired in me every six months.
Research is important. It can save lives and improve lifestyle after stroke. Perhaps in the future the dreaded ‘STROKE’ may be a thing of the past...
You can follow Francis on twitter at @ecusasos