From the age of 22 I lived and ran pubs, so I used to drink and smoke a lot. I also looked after horses and used to go to feed them every day. On March 4th, 2003, I didn’t turn up to feed the horses and my friend who owned the stables became worried and phoned my dad, they found me in bed and knew instantly that I had a stroke, I was 34.
I was taken to Warsgrave in Coventry and they operated, it took 7 hours. I was in Hospital for 3 months then went to Leamington rehab, after 3 weeks in rehab I returned home but I had to continue going back every day for 2 years where they taught me to talk again and do everyday things, like cooking. My right side was affected by my stroke, my face my arm and my leg were affected and my Surgeon said that I’ll always be tired which is so true. My leg still aches.
Now, 14 years on I work behind a bar for 20 hours a week, I am restricted because of my health and I now don’t drink behind the bar. There were many times when I was ill that I felt I was rock bottom and thought about just ending my life. I still struggle and get depressed but I’m a survivor. I would love to talk to people who have had the same thing as me, sometimes that helps. I have been on Different Strokes Facebook for years and I love listening to other people’s stories.
I do not have any ambitions or goals but just to be here every day is a bonus. I love my family and my grandkids and love my life most of the time.