Birmingham stroke survivor and singer Ann Arscott, 54, is one of the hundreds of people living with communication difficulties after a stroke.
Before her stroke, Ann sang in jazz clubs all over the world and even competed on Stars in their Eyes. Her world turned upside down when, at the age of 47, she had a stroke in 2010. The music and drama teacher has been left with the communication disability aphasia and was unable to speak but, miraculously, she is still able to sing.
Ann has been determined to regain as much of her previous life as possible and gradually recovered some of her mobility and improved her communication skills. Ann joined the Stroke Association’s Heart of Birmingham Communication Support Group to help with her recovery.
After attending the group, Ann was able to take part in a fundraising concert for the Stroke Association, performing Billie Holliday’s Summertime and Amazing Grace.
Now Ann has completed courses in sign language floristry and computing. Although she still has aphasia it has not stopped her from supporting others, including visiting the communication groups to encourage others.
The Stroke Association’s Lost for Words campaign aims to raise awareness of the challenges stroke survivors with communication difficulties can face, and help and support available.
Bernice Jones, Regional Director at the Stroke Association, said: “After a stroke, around one in three people like Ann have difficulty communicating, which can be both terrifying and isolating. Ann has gone from strength to strength and we’re so proud of her recovery.”
More than 350,000 people in the UK have aphasia, a communication disability which can be caused by stroke. The Stroke Association is urging people to show their support for stroke survivors who are lost for words and make a donation. For more information, visit www.stroke.org.uk/lostforwords.
A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is one of the largest causes of disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.
Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and together we can conquer stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at www.stroke.org.uk