Seven years ago, 59-year-old Music and I.T Teacher Rick Hein had a life-changing stroke. Clot-busting drugs saved his life, but when he woke up in hospital, he had limited movement in his right arm and hand, and most worryingly for him: he was unable to speak or read. “I was grateful to be alive, but I knew I had to work hard at recovering,” remembers Rick. “My general attitude was ‘I can do it’.”
Soon after his stroke, Rick was referred to My Stroke Guide, and helped out with testing the website while it was being developed.
Even though he was further along in his recovery when he started using the website, Rick quickly saw My Stroke Guide as a new opportunity to learn more about stroke, and to practise his communication skills. “My social is important to me. It’s a marvellous tool to foster communication, and I am much more confident. My writing has improved a lot through answering questions and supporting the other users.”
Rick and his wife Marcia now enjoy their retirement in a beautiful corner of Somerset, and Rick continues to visit My Stroke Guide on a regular basis. He welcomes new members, browses the photography forum, and frequently signposts other users to the video library.