Hampshire stroke survivor Sean Crane has been presented with an Adult Courage Award sponsored by Vision Express at the Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards.
Sean, 71, from Milford-on-Sea received his award, received his award from Floella Benjamin and Dave Hill, in recognition of his passion and commitment in helping other stroke survivors in his community.
The charity’s star-studded ceremony, sponsored by the TONI&GUY Charitable Foundation, NEXT plc and Irwin Mitchell, was held at the London’s Dorchester Hotel on 16 November.
Sean, a former ferryman, lighthouse keeper and the custodian of Hurst Castle, noticed his vision was deteriorating while out at sea in the summer of 2014. He was first diagnosed with a middle ear problem but his wife took him to A&E when she noticed his speech slurring. A brain scan then revealed that Sean had had a stroke. Whilst in the stroke unit awaiting further investigation, Sean had another devastating stroke which left him with right-sided paralysis, swallowing and speech problems.
Sean was discharged from hospital after four months, and was told it was unlikely he would be able to live independently. Sean today has full vocabulary recall but struggles to form the words.
After a stroke around one in three survivors have difficulty speaking and understanding, which can be terrifying and isolating. But with the Stroke Association’s support, people, like Sean, can find new ways to communicate.
As part of his recovery, Sean attended the Stroke Association communication support workshop at Milford-on-Sea War Memorial Hospital. He went on to set up a group for other local stroke survivors in the Community Centre Café. The fortnightly “Together” communication group now supports a number of people who struggle to find their words after a stroke.
Sean said: “Though I feel deeply honoured to receive this award, I also feel a bit undeserving. All the progress I have made has been helped by the support from my family and from Yvonne Hobbs of the Stroke Association.”
Yvonne Hobbs, Communication Support Coordinator for the Stroke Association, who nominated Sean, said: “Many people in Sean’s situation would have found it hard to see a way forward. Though it certainly affected Sean’s confidence in the early days, he has made an incredible recovery.
“Sean has dedicated himself to supporting stroke survivors in his community. He is a fantastic ambassador for the Stroke Association in Hampshire and I am thrilled that his efforts are being recognised by The Stroke Association. He so clearly proves that there is Life After Stroke.”
To find out more about the Life after Stroke Awards please visit www.stroke.org.uk/lasa