Derry woman Jean McBride can barely remember the day her life changed forever. On 25 November 2012 she became ill at her daughter’s house.
Several hours later in Altnagelvin Hospital, she was told she’d had a stroke. The hospital was to become her home for the next three months.
Almost two years on, her left leg is still heavy and stiff and while she can move her left arm she cannot use her hand.
Like all stroke survivors, Jean received three months’ community care after leaving hospital. But she says she would have been at a loss afterwards without the intervention of Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke.
“Ash Dennard, the charity’s Stroke Family Support Co-ordinator, came to see me in hospital and again at home,” says Jean. “We talked about the local Stroke Scheme and I started to attend when I got home.”
The Stroke Scheme brings stroke survivors together and provides support, activities and therapy.
“It’s good to be with people who are in the same situation as yourself,” says Jean.
Stroke affects more than just the individual. Jean’s husband Barry now has to do most tasks around the house and the couple are no longer able to go on the holidays that they enjoyed so much.
Ash discovered that Jean used to love swimming,and then found the Foyle Disability Association’s swimming sessions. It is hoped this will help the movement in her arm.
For anyone impacted by stroke,the Stroke Family Support Co-ordinator for Derry is Ash Dennard. Contact: 0743 6034 587 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can visit our website: www.nichs.org.uk/strokeservices.