Ringwood stroke survivor, Bill Eales, 84, is one of the thousands of people living with communication difficulties after a stroke.
Bill had a stroke October 2016 which left him unable to speak. Bill said: “I could talk a little bit but I soon realised I had a problem. Every day in hospital they showed me cards with objects on. I knew what they were, but I couldn’t say it. It was really frustrating.
“I easily forget words and sometimes I know exactly what I want to say, but it just doesn’t come out. I once went to a coffee shop and as I went to ask for my usual order, the words just disappeared. The waitress impatiently reeled off lots of different coffees she could make me, but I was so confused and felt under pressure. The words just wouldn’t come out. A few days later, I used a Stroke Association card which explains that I have aphasia to inform another shop keeper when I was buying a present for my brother in laws birthday. This was very helpful.”
“After my stroke the Stroke Association supported me. Attending communication sessions and group meetings has helped to build my confidence, and speak to others who are in the same position as me. I’m really proud of my recovery; three weeks ago, I was able to make a speech at my daughter’s wedding. That was a huge achievement for me, and one I’m so thankful for and extremely proud of.”
The Stroke Association’s Lost for Words campaign aims to raise awareness of the challenges stroke survivors with communication difficulties can face, and help and support available.