I had my stroke in April 2008, I was 53.
I studied Psychology and Physiology at Oxford University and I went to Cardiff University to do CQSW. Next I became a Probation Officer in Gwent. I was Chief Probation Officer in Greater Manchester then I went to the Home Office to be National Offender Manager. Then I was made redundant, and I was a Management Consultant.
I had Breast Cancer just after being made redundant. I had my breast removed and had reconstruction then I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Then two months after that I had my stroke. I was in my own home two days after my holiday. Nobody else was there. The cleaner next door saw me and came to my rescue. I was in hospital for nine weeks. When I got home I could not go upstairs. I had my bed downstairs for about seven weeks. Then I got a stair rail and I could go upstairs.
I had aphasia, so I could not speak very well, but I am much better now. I had some physiotherapy, occupational health and speech and language for six months, and then I was on my own. The community health team referred me to the stroke club in Bolton and the aphasia club in Ramsbottom.
My brother was in Burton Joyce and I decided to go there to live. My house in Bolton took a year and a half to sell in the end. I had friends in Burton Joyce but they were my brother’s friends not mine so I joined the stroke club in Burton Joyce. They were very nice but they were much older than me. It got me out of the home which was a positive move.
One contact I made, invited me to go on various committees. I am now involved in atastroke, the Nottingham University Stroke Research Partnership Group and the Hospital’s Speech & Language Advisory Panel.
I am enjoying myself in retirement. I go out most days, I have my friends and some social activities to take part in in the village.
I am very active, swimming every week and I go to a health centre where I use weights. I walk to the local shop and to the stroke club, which helps me meet people. And I’ve taken up cycling which is fantastic.