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Hampshire stroke survivor scoops national award

Press Release   •   Nov 18, 2016 11:22 GMT

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

  • 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.
  • The 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
  • Christmas is the loneliest time to be lost for words. After a stroke, around one in three survivors like Sean, have difficulty speaking and understanding, which can be terrifying and isolating. But with the Stroke Association’s support, people can find new ways to communicate. Find out how you can help at or search for #lostforwords
  • The 2016 Life After Stroke Awards are sponsored by TONI &GUY Charitable Foundation. More information can be found at:
  • Irwin Mitchell is over 100 years old and is one of the largest law firms in the UK. There are offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough (Consulting Office), Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton. Irwin Mitchell has also completed the acquisitions of Specialist Personal Injury firm MPH Solicitors and private wealth firm Berkeley Law in the past two years. For more information visit
  • Onecom is the UK’s leading business to business mobile phone provider and manages more than 335,000 connections throughout the UK. Onecom specialises in tailored fixed line and mobile solutions for businesses ranging from SMEs to large corporates. Onecom is headquartered in Whiteley, Hampshire, and also has offices in London, Cambridge, Shoeburyness, Cardiff, Southampton, Plymouth, Leeds, Telford, Norwich and Brighton. Find out more at
  • Vision Express is the third largest optical retailer in the UK and part of Grand Vision, the global leader in optical retail operating across 43 countries, spanning over 6,000 stores and online. They are considered one of the leading and most trusted opticians in the UK and Ireland, and as part of their commitment to Vision.Taken Seriously, are proud to partner with the Stroke Association. Find out more at