What an amazing week

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Well this has been such an amazing week, thanks to so many wonderful people, I don’t know where to begin.

Perhaps best to recall in event order. Thanks to the efforts of so many others, I have been able to take part in some fabulous events this week, all of which are both beneficial to Stroke and raising greater awareness. I feel so excited, despite the tremendous fatigue I now feel, well worth it, excitement shines through.

This began on Tuesday with a phone call from Charmian Walker-Smith from the Stroke Association at the beginning of the week, inviting me to be a part of the BBC 24 hour news ‘Stroke Awareness broadcasting, which was taking place. I would first be contacted by Harriet Hall from The BBC, who after chatting with me would decide whether or not I was right for this occasion. Luckily not only was she a delight to talk with but she did select me. I went along to the BBC and was interviewed live from London. Everyone interviewed that day was helping to spread the message that sadly stroke has risen in the 40 to 50 year old age group, in men by 50% & 30% in woman. The main reason has been identified as obesity, but it isn’t this alone, but high blood pressure, stress, changing life styles, irregular heartbeat, HRT in some and the risk rises in pregnant woman.

Because woman go through childbirth, menopause etc we generally have our blood pressure taken more often throughout our lifetime, but men do not so are unaware of what their blood pressure is.

Hopefully with the constant news interviews throughout the day with many different people’s stories as stroke survivors, awareness has risen.

The second thing this week on Wednesday, I had the excitement of being invited by Christine Singleton, the head of the FES (Functional Electrical stimulation) clinic at West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre Selly Oak to give a talk at their Focus Group event. This was to both survivors, users of the FES and professionals from the hospital. It was a very exciting day for the centre, the second largest of its type in the country. Christine, has built this centre up over twenty years and with much effort and difficultly, has secured funding for additional staff and more FES units. This means that now more stroke survivors will be able to benefit from the use of this fabulous piece of equipment. It isn’t only beneficial to us stroke survivors, it also helps people with Multiple Sclerosis, spinal injury along with a few other conditions. It was a very moving and exciting day. Also on a personal note I had such fabulous feedback from survivors who have previously bought and read my book, I wish I could record and share what people said, bottle it even, it was so moving for me to hear, thank you. Also I sold books to survivors, family members and medical personnel, Doctors. I could not ask for more, this along with raising money to raise greater awareness is exactly why I wrote it.

As I write this, I am re living the excitement of the week and feel that is already more than I could ask but there is yet more.

I was also fortunate enough to be chosen to be filmed for a documentary on stroke. I cannot tell you anymore yet, other than that the other survivors taking part in this filming sound amazing, I can’t wait to view the footage of them, and the people who filmed me Bronac McNeill and Paul O’Brien were such fun to be around, thank you both.

Finally, on Friday ‘Events with Edge’ who support Stroke as a charity, hosted a wonderful purple lunch at the Crown & Sandys – Ombersley sponsored by Hallmark Hulme Solicitors from Worcester. A fun time with lovely ladies, delicious food, and three ladies who kindly brought things to sell, a feast for our eyes. Everyone made the effort and remembered to wear purple too.

If this week and all these wonderful people haven’t raised awareness to a different level, then I don’t know how we will? A huge thank you to lots of super people.

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