Stroke victims urged to join support group
A MAN who suffered from a stroke at the age of 26 has urged other victims to join a support group as it rebrands itself.
It is out with the blue and in with the purple as Stroke Association changes its identity after 20 years.
Volunteers and staff at the Association are delighted with the makeover, which also includes a new logo.
In North East Lincolnshire there are three social groups held at the Second Avenue Resource Centre, Second Avenue, Grimsby, catering to the needs of stroke survivors each week.
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Peter Crosby, of Walker Avenue, Grimsby, said the group has brought back his self- confidence.
The 65-year-old, who is now a local volunteer for the association, had a major stroke in January 1973 at the age of just 26.
Caused by a bleed in the brain, it left the right side of his body paralysed. He also lost his speech.
Doctors told him he would never walk again but, nearly 40 years later and after three more mini-strokes, he remains positive.
Peter said: "When I first had a stroke, there was nowhere to turn for support or advice – nothing like there is today.
"I joined the Stroke Association group in Grimsby as a member first, but a few months ago I became a volunteer."
The married father-of-two says without his family, he would not have got through the years.
Defying all odds and through self-determination, Peter amazed doctors by gradually walking, talking and eventually driving again after the first stroke.
However, three mini-strokes later in life put a halt to his progression, causing him to lose complete mobility of his right arm and hand.
Everyday tasks became a battle and using a walking stick to get about resulted in Peter taking early retirement from his job as chief payroll officer at North East Lincolnshire Council.
He said: "Socialising with other people who have been through similar situations and receiving advice and support on what is available for stroke survivors is great.
"The group has given me back self-confidence – to know I am not alone and that there is somewhere to turn to.
"I would recommend anyone who has had a stroke to attend a meeting."
Out of the three social groups at the Second Avenue Resource Centre, Grimsby, two run on a fortnightly basis each Thursday.
One is an information, advice and support service, from 10.30am to 12.30pm, and the other is a long-term support group, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
The other group, a communication support service, runs once a week on Mondays, from 2pm to 4pm.
People can be self-referred to the group or through their GP, or speech and language therapist.
For more information or advice after a stroke, call community support co-ordinator Katie Chatburn on 01472 277658.