Bill Cowe had only been retired for two weeks when he had a stroke in 2017. The 52-year-old former Police Officer had just returned from dropping his son off at school when he began to feel extremely tired.
“I went to bed to get a couple of hours sleep to see how I felt,” recalls Bill. “When I got up, half my body was affected on the right-hand side. I’d had two strokes, which affected both sides of my body from the neck downwards. I also couldn’t swallow or speak – I harboured some pretty dark thoughts at the time.”
Bill was keen to do all he could to adapt to life after stroke when he got home from hospital. “I used My Stroke Guide as part of my general recovery and it helped me to make sense of my stroke. I used to be a Class 1 Pursuit Driver in the police, but after the stroke, I learnt that I had to re-sit my test again. I looked on the section about driving, which gave me advice about what I needed to do. That pointed me in the direction of disability centres, and the subsequent assessments I did to pass my driving test. I am driving now, so that had a massive impact on me.”
Bill also found that My Social offered him the opportunity to share experiences with other stroke survivors online. “My Stroke Guide gave me reassurance. I would go online and check things out, and I would speak to people. Being able to communicate and exchange messages with other stroke survivors about what they’re going through on a daily basis had a really positive effect on me.”
Today, Bill works as a Stroke Ambassador for the Stroke Association, and now over a year after his stroke, he continues to see improvements in his mobility.