Stroke survivor, Angharad Lloyd-Thomas, 22, has been recognised for her courage and determination with a Stroke Association Life After Stroke Award. Angharad was presented with the charity’s Adult
Courage Award (18-64) by comedian Russell Howard on Wednesday 12 June.
Angharad had a stroke in 2012, at the age of 20. She said: “When I woke up one morning and I struggled to get out of bed, I just put it down to tiredness. I never imagined it could be anything as serious as a stroke. My Mum, who is a practice nurse, realised I needed emergency treatment, and took me straight to hospital. I had a major stroke in the waiting room.
“Almost every aspect of my life changed overnight. I couldn’t say simple words like ‘please’ or ‘thank
you,’ I needed help with basic things like washing and moving around, and I was left with vision problems and difficulties with my memory. It was devastating, but I didn’t want my stroke to rule my life. I went back to university six weeks after the stroke.”
Angharad graduated from Trinity St David University with a 2:1 in Primary Education. Despite the long-term effects of her stroke, which include chronic pain down the left side of her body and extreme fatigue, Angharad works as a full time Learning Support Assistant at Llangunnor school, Camarthenshire, and in her spare time provides support and advice to other young stroke survivors. She explained: “I had no idea that young people like me could have a stroke. I’d like to do as much as I can to help others realise that stroke doesn’t mean it’s the end – it can be the beginning of a new life.”
The Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards, sponsored by TONI&GUY Charitable Foundation, recognise the courage shown by stroke survivors and carers as well as the great work and commitment shown by health professionals, groups and supporter organisations.
Jon Barrick, Stroke Association Chief Executive, said: “Many people don’t realise that young people
can have a stroke, but in fact almost a third of strokes occur to people under the age of 65. Angharad’s attitude in rebuilding her life after stroke, and helping others do the same, is a real inspiration. She is proof that there is life after stroke.”
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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 we’re leading a community of people to change the world for people affected by 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 ww.stroke.org.uk