Posted: October 11 2018
"On the last day of March this year I suffered a stroke, that left me speechless and paralysed on my right side. On 1 April I was seen by a consultant at Watford General Hospital in the acute stroke ward. This is where I demonstrated some movement in my right leg and arm, but by the following morning that movement had gone completely. They said the stroke had not finished.
"The next two weeks were the worst of my life. Surviving a stroke is the easy bit. Adjusting to the many changes it can bring is where the hard work begins.
"I am a 63 year old man with a good education. But today I write and talk like a child and am physically less able than my father who is in his 90s. The demands on the ward was high with every bed on the ward taken. However, the care and support I received was xceptional and I thank all the very special people who work in the acute stroke unit at Watford General Hospital.
"Fast forward to 23 May and I am home. Between leaving Watford General Hospital and returning home, I spent my time in Holywell Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, part of Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.
"At Holywell I was allocated two very special individuals - Raveena Sharma, a physiotherapist and Jo Law, an Occupational Therapist. They, along with other specialists in speech and psychology, oversaw my progress from bedridden to walking and talking.
"At Holywell, the gym sessions for physio were intensive and as hard as they needed to be. In the physio session in week 1, I called out to Krishna Gundapudi (Physio Lead) and Raveena "I want walk". I surprised myself by blurting out my demands but, ever accommodating, they had me on my feet within a short period of time. A few week later I was walking on my own with the aid of a quad stick. I left the unit with a single point walking stick. I also had hydrotherapy and Krishna and Raveena were excellent with me in the water. I continue to go with my wife and friend following discharge from Holywell.
"As for occupational therapy, I developed a good relationship with Jo and she worked hard on developing movement in my right arm while all the time preparing me for the day I returned home. She gave me information about a clinic in Queens Square for which I am now registered.
"This epidemic (stroke) is silent and hidden. I know it's a long road ahead but with the start I've been given at Holywell, their encouragement along the way, I aim to achieve my goals.
"I don't think life will ever feel the same again but to experience the good you have to experience the bad, as my old Dad says."
Terence Goode (centre) with members of the neuro team at Holywell Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, Langley House, Watford
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