Handforth stroke survivor George Oliver, 70, is one of the hundreds of people living with communication difficulties after a stroke.
George was fluent in four languages and regularly travelled across Europe in his role as a long distance lorry driver when he had a stroke eight years ago in France, leaving him unable to speak or write.
His stroke left him unconscious for six days and unable to communicate when he woke. Two years later, George went on to have a mini-stroke. Despite his strokes, George has been determined to find new ways to communicate again. With support from the Stroke Association, George can now write and his speech is improving. He has recently become a volunteer and ambassador for the charity, to help raise awareness of its work around the region.
George said: “The Stroke Association helped me a lot. I became a volunteer and now I'm an ambassador. I can write and spell and now my speech is a lot better.”
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.
Diane Warhurst, Information Advice and Support Coordinator at the Stroke Association supported George throughout his recovery. She said: “George has shown incredible determination in his recovery. When we first met he had lost a lot of confidence, and found it very difficult to communicate, which can be both terrifying and isolating. Eight years on, he’s doing a wonderful job raising awareness of stroke in his local area.George has been a fantastic role model for other stroke survivors; he’s encouraging and cheerful with a great sense of humour. I’m 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 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