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Chingford stroke survivor saved by her daughter Steps Out for Stroke

Press release   •   Jun 01, 2015 11:49 BST

Mum of two, Phillipa Haslehurst (48) from Chingford, is set to take part in the charity’s Step out for Stroke event in Ilford, after being found by her daughter as she was having a major stroke last year.

Phillipa, a local school teacher, was going about her normal daily routine when she felt dizzy and disorientated.

Phillipa explains: “I knew that something wasn’t right. I laid down on my bed, and for some reason I called out for my husband – knowing that he wasn’t home and at was at work. It was as if that was all I could manage to do at the time.”

Thankfully Phillipa’s daughter Beth (16), who was in the bath at the time, heard a noise and came out of the bath to see what was happening. Beth said: “As soon as I found mum on her bed, I knew instantly that she was having a stroke. I remembered seeing the F.A.S.T advert on TV, and remembered the woman’s face on the advert, how it was drooping on one side. That’s when I thought to myself that my mum looked exactly like that.”

Beth told Phillipa that she was having a stroke, and called her Dad who was close by, who then called the ambulance whilst Beth stayed by her mum’s side.

Phillipa said: “I am so proud of Beth for how she acted in the situation. Beth was so calm, reassuring and comforting the whole time she sat with me. I remember telling her that I didn’t need an ambulance, but thankfully she ignored what I was saying! Looking back, there was no sign of panic or distress – she was so very mature, and for that we are incredibly proud of her. I must count my blessings each day, as I have been luckier than many to get treatment so quickly, which prevent the stroke from causing even more horrendous damage.

“I think that this goes to show just how powerful the F.A.S.T advert is – especially for a teenager to recognise the signs and react so quickly as Beth did.”

Phillipa’s stroke was caused by an undiagnosed hole in the heart. After her stroke, Phillipa lost most of the movement in the left side of her body, but has since regained more movement after dedicating time to work closely with a personal trainer to strengthen her mobility.

Phillipa adds: “My husband and two children have been amazingly supportive and so has my mum, dad, brothers and sister. The encouragement and love from everyone has kept me going through the tough times. I am now working three full days at a new school with an extremely supportive Head Teacher and wonderful staff. I’m taking part in the Stroke Association’s Step Out for Stroke to raise awareness of stroke and the importance of recognising the signs of a stroke.”

Step out for Stroke celebrates the achievements of stroke survivors as they walk alongside their friends and family, all while helping to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association. Each walk is wheelchair accessible and suitable for any level of walking ability. Participants can walk at their own pace, in their own time. Ultimately, Step out for Stroke celebrates the brave steps in a stroke survivor’s recovery. The event at Central Park will also be a fun day for the whole family, with games, stalls, refreshments and activities to keep the little ones entertained.

Ruth Dunkin, Fundraising Manager from the Stroke Association, added: ““Step out for Stroke is a fun walk that everyone can be part of, no matter what your age or fitness level. We’re hugely grateful to Phillipa for joining us for this year’s event. Every step makes a difference, and we want Step out for Stroke 2015 to be our biggest year yet. Join us in Ilfordto help even more stroke survivors take their first steps on the road to recovery and together we can conquer stroke.”

To sponsor Phillipa please visit: www.justgiving.com/Phillipa-Haslehurst1

Phillipa is taking part in the Valentines Park, Ilford on Saturday 13 June – to join Phillipa please visit: www.stroke.org.uk/stepout

For more information about stroke, please visit www.stroke.org.uk or call the Stroke Association helpline on 0303 303 3100.

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 the leading cause of severe adult 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