In 2010, 19-year-old Claire collapsed on the underground. The doctors thought she was suffering from anxiety, but they later found out she'd had two devastating strokes. Claire's vision, hearing and speech were affected, and she experienced difficulties with coordination and mobility, which meant she had to use a wheelchair.
"I was scared that I was going to die," remembered Claire. "And all the things I loved, like playing football and plans of becoming a teacher, had been snatched from me. I felt like I was never going to have a purpose again."
When Claire was discharged, the rehab stopped and she was left to cope with the devastating emotional impact of stroke, as well as the physical disability.
Three years after her stroke, Claire discovered My Stroke Guide. "I could access support and information about stroke, wherever and whenever I needed to. Reading comments in the forum from other people who were feeling the same as me helped me to realise that I wasn't the only one.
I would recommend it to carers too. I couldn't express how I was feeling to my mum, so I told her to go on the forum. She read the messages from stroke survivors and carers and that helped her to understand what I was going through."
Claire also used My Stroke Guide to access the information and advice to help her understand more about the effects of stroke. "I enjoyed the videos because they gave me an overview of the facts. For example, when I was extremely tired for no reason, I searched My Stroke Guide and found a video that explained that it was completely natural. This has helped me to move forwards."
Now working as a Community Stroke Support Assistant, Claire regularly demonstrates My Stroke Guide to both stroke survivors and carers. "Having access to the information and videos gives them confidence, and the forum allows them to talk to other people who're going through similar struggles, helping them to feel less isolated."
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