A woman whose daughter suffered a life-changing stroke is urging people to become more aware of the condition and support local facilities.
Jean Sherrington’s daughter Paula was just 42-years-old when she suffered a stoke in 2009, which left her unable to speak or move properly.
The mother-of-three spent 13 weeks at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, and when she left became heavily involved in a local forum which brought about the new Stroke Unit at the hospital.
Jean, who herself suffered a stroke nearly two years ago, said she had nothing but praise for the stroke team at The Vic.
“The work the team does is so important, both on the ward and once the patient has left,” she said.
“Nobody wants to have a stroke, or a family member to suffer one, because it is life changing, no matter how big or small it is – it alters your life totally.”
Jean says Paula was very happy during the four years after her stroke.
Unfortunately, she died in January last year, aged 46.
Jean added: “It was devastating for a young woman to suffer such a massive stroke, but she honestly laughed more after her stroke and was very happy. It sounds funny but it’s true.”
Jean, of Lawson Road, Blackpool, said it was caring for Paula that put her on her own road to recovery.
“The very fact that I had Paula to look after helped me get over my stroke,” she said.
“We worked together and talked rubbish together, even though neither of us could speak properly. Our improvement went hand in hand.”
Jean, 68, is urging as many people as possible to take part in the Step out for Stroke event in Stanley Park on Saturday May 31.
The walk is in its third year, and the first year Jean and Paula took part in it together.
Last year, following Paula’s death, Jean walked it with Paula’s daughter, Samantha, and this year she said they will be joined by Paula’s granddaugther, one-year-old Carly, and her dad Charlie.
Jean said: “It’s something we will do in Paula’s memory.
“I think if someone has a stroke in 2014 you’re not written off like you once were. There’s more hope out there for people like me and Paula.”
All proceeds raised will go to the Stroke Association.
The Stroke Unit at The Vic is also holding a fund-raising day on May 17 at Rossall School, Fleetwood from 1pm.