A SOLIHULL stroke survivor has joined the Stroke Association’s latest campaign to raise awareness of the impact of stroke on women.
Cheryl Ford, who suffered a life-changing stroke at the age of 39, runs Solihull-based young stroke survivors group Different Strokes and wants to alert other women to the range of stroke risk factors unique to women, including pregnancy and taking the contraceptive pill.
The 54-year-old hit her head against the post box, not thinking anything of it for weeks before being admitted to hospital.
Cheryl said: “The first thing I knew something was very seriously wrong was when I fainted at work and was taken to hospital where I was eventually told that I had suffered a stroke.
“I started having physio on my left arm to compensate for the weakness but during a physio session about 4 months later I had another stroke which this time left me without the use of my left side.
“I then spent the next 18 months having to be pushed around in a wheelchair by my husband whilst I underwent further physio to help me walk again.”
“I was determined that my stroke was not going to beat me.”
After undergoing intensive physio, Mrs Ford is now able to walk unattended and has regained her independence with the aid of an automatic car.
To mark World Stroke Day yesterday, the Stroke Association raised awareness of the impace of stroke on women, after a new poll conducted by the charity reveals that women in the UK are aware of the risks which face them.
One in eight women wrongly believe that a stroke could never happen to them, when in reality one in five women will have a stroke in their lifetime and the condition is the third leading cause of death in women in the UK.
Elaine Roberts, Director North of England Life After Stroke Services, said: “Stroke can hit you out of nowhere and rob you of your speech, your ability to walk, your memory, your independence and your dignity.
“This devastating condition kills three times as many women as breast cancer every year.
“We offer advice, information and support for anyone worried about stroke and its impact.
The condition doesn’t have to be inevitable; together we can conquer stroke.”
More information about the charity, activities which took place yesterday and future campaigns can be found at www.stroke.org.uk/women