50 Shades of Stroke – Sadness


The devastating news of this week’s plane crash and the loss of 149 innocent lives leaves the world in sudden shock. The families of those people on board living life as usual one minute, only to be hit suddenly with a an atrocity.

How these families are expected to piece together their lives in such terrible circumstances I cannot begin to imagine. I am one of the most patient, forgiving people I know yet despite, not knowing any of the passengers I feel furious. To be depressed, as desperate as he must have felt to take his own life, is one thing but to include others, his friends and colleagues and other innocent people, no one can forgive such evil action. The airline have a duty to their passengers’ safety and that includes vetting their staff, the people, their customers, entrust themselves to.

I imagine you are thinking this is all well and good, but what does it have to do with stroke? I am getting there, I promise.

Due to the complexities of my stroke I am no longer allowed to drive or able to work. I long to do both. That is what life dealt me and I have two choices: either be miserable, feel sorry for myself and moan about what I’ve lost or focus on the positives and find things I can do. I chose the latter.

Therefore, if a member of the cockpit within an airline has a history of depression they should no longer be allowed to fly, full stop. The airline should have access to such records written within their contracts. These are peoples’ lives in their hands.

If we have an illness such as stroke we all have to face up to and don’t make our problem somebody else’s.

As stroke survivors we know only too well the complexities, the hurdles we have to overcome. We may have our driving licence taken away as I had because I would be a danger to myself and others, I don’t like it but I have to accept it.

I would like to emphasise that there should be no stigma attached to suffering from depression like any other illness but it needs addressing and treating.


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