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Bournemoth stroke survivor adds their voice to Lost for Words campaign

Press release   •   Nov 08, 2016 09:06 GMT

Bournemouth stroke survivor Russell Hanford, 37 is one of the hundreds of people living with communication difficulties after a stroke.

Russell had a major stroke at the age of 35, just five weeks after his wedding. Although the physical effects of the stroke have significantly improved, Russell still really struggles with communication. His wife, Rachel, spent months teaching him to say ‘I love you’ again.

Russell's wife Rachel, said: “After his stroke, it took months for Russell to learn to say ‘I love you’ again. It was all really sad; Russell’s friends couldn’t understand why he couldn’t chat with them anymore.

“Every day Russell is constantly pushing himself. If we give Russell enough time he can find some words, or he can sometimes write them down.”

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.

Jacqui Cuthebert, Regional Director at the Stroke Association, said: “After a stroke, around one in three people like Russell have difficulty communicating, which can be both terrifying and isolating. Russell has gone from strength to strength, we’re so proud of his 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   

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