A stroke survivor from Derry and a courageous carer from Strabane have been commended by the Western Health and Social Care Trust at a special reception
Derry man Patrick Brady and Gerard Hughes from Strabane both recently won awards at the recent Northern Ireland Life After Stroke Awards.
Double amputee Gerard Hughes, aged 74 years, won the Carers Award which is awarded to a carer who supports a stroke survivor. Despite his own health issues Gerard is a carer for his wife Celine.
Both Gerard and his wife Celine have managed to lead a full life and recently celebrated 50 years of marriage.
Carers can be a vital part of the recovery for a stroke survivor.
People caring for stroke survivors face practical and emotional issues that prove challenging, distressing and often require considerable sacrifice. Equally it can be immensely rewarding. This award is for someone who has shown great commitment for caring for a stroke survivor.
Patrick Brady, aged 86 years, won the Award for Creative Arts which is awarded to a stroke survivor who fuses the visual, performing or applied arts to express his or herself creatively.
This can include painting, drawing, music, literature, sculpture, photography, film or performing arts.
Patrick presented a beautiful piece of artwork to the Stroke Unit at Ward 40 at Altnagelvin Hospital during the reception and this was accepted by the Trust and will hang in pride of place at the Unit.
Geraldine Brown, Assistant Director for Secondary Care for the Western Trust and who manages Stroke Services attended the award ceremony and spoke at the recent reception held by the Trust.
She said: “I have been working in the health service for quite some time and I was overwhelmed with emotion and appreciation for the courage both these men have shown.
“They are both shining examples for both the person who has had a stroke and also their relatives who become their carers of what is possible and what can be achieved after surviving stroke.”
The Stroke Helpline provides information on stroke to the general public and is open between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday on 0303 3033 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk.