Don’t ignore stroke signs says Sheffield dad

Christopher Wheeler, who is recovering from a stroke. Picture by Simon Hayhurst.
Christopher Wheeler, who is recovering from a stroke. Picture by Simon Hayhurst.
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Stoic Sheffielders are urged not to put off dialling 999 if they experience stroke symptoms - as city health workers prepare to take to the streets to raise awareness.

Strokes are the single largest cause of disability among adults in the UK, and last year led to almost 1,000 hospital admissions in Sheffield.

Action on Stroke Month is running throughout May, and medics from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital are manning stalls in the city, encouraging people to call an ambulance if they experience weakness in the face or arms, or sudden speech problems.

Amanda Jones, stroke nurse consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The people of South Yorkshire have a bit of a reputation for soldiering on regardless.

“But we want to make local people aware that the quicker treatment is sought, the better chance the patient has of making a full recovery.”

Christopher Wheeler, aged 46, a dad-of-three from Chapeltown, said he did nothing when he first felt unwell with a stroke last October, and is now in hospital again after suffering a second mild stroke just days ago.

“A sudden strange feeling like being very drunk came over me and I had pins and needles in my right arm,” said Christopher, an artist and joiner.

“I collapsed on the floor and then crawled back into bed where I stayed for the rest of the day feeling very weak and unwell. My family persuaded me I needed to go to hospital and I might have had a stroke. I was reluctant, as I don’t like to make a fuss, but they were right. An MRI confirmed it was the second stroke I had suffered.”

Without treatment, patients who suffer a mini-stroke similar to Christopher’s have a 20 per cent chance of having a full stroke within a month.

“My advice would be don’t be macho about it. I’ve been really pleased with the care I have received - all the staff were very kind to me,” he added.

The awareness events, organised alongside The Stroke Association, are happening at the charity’s shop on Fargate on May 16, and at B floor main entrance at the Royal Hallamshire on May 28, both from 11am to 3pm.