James couldn’t talk or walk at the time the stroke happened. His son, a trained first aider, immediately recognised he was having a stroke and dialled 999. James got to hospital quickly, received treatment fast and was transferred to a stroke unit. Given James had had a haemorrhagic stroke due to a bleed which was caused by high blood pressure, he wasn’t eligible for thrombolysis, a treatment that can significantly reduce the severity of disability a stroke can cause.
James’ mobility was affected by the stroke, as was his ability to communicate. “You know what you want to say, and you think you’re saying what you mean to say, but the words don’t come out as they should. It is the most frustrating thing. I was devastated.”
Although James received some occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and physiotherapy in hospital, it wasn’t enough. He needed more rehab.
James returned home and not only did he have the physical effects of his stroke to deal with, but also fatigue and emotional difficulties.
James had just started his own business, as a plumber/gas engineer so had to give it up which was a huge disappointment. Following some family breakdowns, James moved into his Mother’s house.
Things were particularly difficult for James and he was admitted to hospital again, this time with mental health problems.
However, James has not given up and was determined to get back to a life after his stroke. James started befriending for a mental health charity and now runs The Falkirk Fly Fishing Group. James is also Civilian Committee Chair of the Air Training Corps. He is delighted his confidence is coming back because it is enabling him to do other things.
James attended he Stroke Association’s ‘Moving Forward After stroke’ exercise programme this year run in partnership with Active Stirling. He says:
“The programme has been greatly beneficial for both my physical and mental health. It is great to feel more active and I now go to the gym regularly. The information session on nutrition has made e take positive steps in my diet and I am encouraging my kids to eat in the same way too.”
James is now looking for work, going to the gym regularly and has seen a huge step change in the way he views his life after his stroke.