Before my Stroke, I had owned my own Electrical Contracting Company since 2005 but was also a hands-on Electrician. I was an avid player of Golf and Football and was also coaching children’s football teams. At that time, my children were 3 and 5 and I was involved in all the usual normal ‘Dad’ things: going to the park, bike rides and games in the garden.
When I had my Stroke, I was 33 years old. It just happened out of nowhere. I’d had flu, and was driving my van to collect an apprentice when I suddenly fell over into the passenger side of the van. Luckily, I was driving really slowly, and sat up again and carried on to pick the apprentice up. My apprentice thought I was drunk when I collected him, but after five minutes of driving, I realised that something was wrong. I stopped the van and got out and promptly fell over.
A passer-by called an ambulance. I remember the ambulance crew asking me to put my arm in the air and smile. I was told they thought I’d had a stroke. My reply was something along the lines of “Have a word, love, I’m only 33!
It was about five hours before I was diagnosed and taken for a scan. The delay was down to the fact that I’d had flu. When I was finally told that I’d had a stroke, I wasn’t really concerned. To be honest, I didn’t really know what a Stroke was. I simply thought I’d be back to work within a week or so. All my friends and family were crying and I just couldn’t understand why they were so upset. The truth is that I hadn’t felt ill at all, not beforehand, not during and not in my time in hospital. I had never taken time off work for illness.
After a few months, it began to dawn on me that getting better would take longer than I had initially thought. It still had not crossed my mind that I may never make a full recovery. I was having Physiotherapy from a lady called Michelle while I was in hospital and she told me about a specialist Neurological Physiotherapist called Jon Graham who had something called a Bioness which he was going to show the Consultant. The Bioness L300 is a device which uses electrical signals to help you walk. I asked to try it out.
Having been told I would never walk again, being able to walk my children to school is priceless.Justin Ashton