Martin Hayes, 59, lost five stone during seven months of recovery in hospital, following a severe stroke in March 2018. He now wants to carry on losing weight and inspire others to do the same.
Martin’s wife, Linda, 58, found him unconscious first thing in the morning in March 2018. After regaining consciousness, she found that he was unable to raise his arms and rushed him to hospital where a CAT scan confirmed he had had a stroke.
Linda said: “In the morning I woke up and couldn’t get Martin to wake up at all. When he came to, he couldn’t raise his left arm. After tests in hospital, doctors said they had no idea if he would walk again or even move.”
Martin’s stroke was caused by a chest infection and an irregular heartbeat which had led to blood clots. He began a seven month stay in hospital and intensive physiotherapy to help him regain feeling in his left hand side.
Martin, who was twenty-nine stone at the time of his stroke, was told he would never walk again.
During his recovery, Martin made the life-changing decision to start losing weight. He was also motivated by the pressure that his weight was putting on his knee, which was already arthritic.
Martin said: “I didn’t believe the doctors at all. I said to Linda: ‘They’re talking rubbish and I’ll walk again.’ I remember lying in hospital and having a long talk with myself about my weight. My knees couldn’t take the weight so I couldn’t stand up, which was affecting my recovery.”
“I told my physio that I wanted to lose weight and they gave me a new diet plan and exercises I could do. Gradually, I started to lose weight which helped the pressure on my knees and after a lot of work I was able to stand up again.”
By mid-January 2019, Martin was walking again and he has continued to lose weight and go from strength to strength. After leaving a sedentary career in IT, he now wants to help inspire others who have had a stroke and want to lose weight themselves.
Martin said: “The biggest light bulb moment for me was when I was told to take control of my own recovery. I want to be the best version of myself possible now, I want to be in the position where I can do anything I want.”
“I never felt in control of my own life until now. The first thing you have to get right is your mind set with your recovery, you have to want to change and you will do. I’ll never go back to my old career or my old ways. Now I want to help and inspire others who are in the same position I was in, there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
About the Stroke Association
- Stroke strikes every five minutes in the UK and it changes lives in an instant.
- The Stroke Association is a charity working across the UK to support people to rebuild their lives after stroke. We believe that everyone deserves to live the best life they can after stroke. From local support services and groups, to online information and support, anyone affected by stroke can visit stroke.org.uk or call our dedicated Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100 to find out about support available locally.
- Our specialist support, research and campaigning are only possible with the courage and determination of the stroke community and the generosity of our supporters. With more donations and support, we can help rebuild even more lives.
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