Published date
Monday, 3 July, 2017

Thanks to the amazing generosity of our supporters we are able to invest in new ground-breaking research studies every year.

Find out how research has helped to transform the lives and change the story of three inspiring stroke survivors.

Karen's story

It was just a normal Tuesday morning when 58 year-old Karen Craven collapsed whilst getting ready for work. She couldn’t move her left side, had trouble speaking and couldn’t see out of her left eye – she was terrified.

The paramedics arrived quickly and rushed Karen straight to a specialist stroke unit, where a CT scan revealed two blood clots in her brain. She was quickly taken to theatre for a cutting-edge procedure called thrombectomy. Just a few hours later, she regained her movement, speech and sight. It was almost as if nothing had happened. To everyone’s amazement, she spent just four days in the hospital where she was known as the ‘walking miracle’.

It's only thanks to this innovative new clot-removing treatment, made possible by stroke research, that Karen has made such a remarkable physical recovery.

John's story

John Smejka was 54 when he had a stroke that affected his right side and left him with severe communication difficulties.

Five years later, John has become passionately involved in stroke research. He has participated in several research projects for City University London and the universities of Oxford and Birmingham.

John’s wife Paula believes: “getting involved with research was the turning point in John’s life after stroke.”

Since getting involved with research, his confidence and communication have improved greatly. He’s now able to say short sentences and has inspired others in their recovery.

Odette's story

Odette Foster-Robinson, from Lewisham in London, lost the movement on her left side after having a stroke at 43. She wishes there was more research to find new treatments which might help her. Her Dad was also left with disabilities after he had a stroke in his 60s, so she is keen to know if there are genetic factors that can cause stroke and how her girls can prevent it.

Odette said: “Just being able to walk properly would be the greatest joy. I survive rather than enjoying living because my body doesn’t work, I have to drag it along. It takes a lot of strength, determination and pain killers to move. I find it really hard to wash and iron clothes, tidy up and I can’t attend activities at my daughters’ school. I don’t even go to their sports day because I find it too sad not being able to take part.

"But I’m so grateful I survived to see them grow up and guide them. I have a really supportive family and the Stroke Association has helped me to think about my life after stroke, access benefits and meet other people affected by stroke. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else, but it’s helpful to feel less alone because stroke can happen to anybody at any time."

Research could change Odette's story.

Change the story for others

We’ve come a long way in the last 25 years, developing new treatments and therapies, so the chance of surviving a stroke is better than ever before, but the number of people affected by stroke is increasing. 

With your support, we can invest more in vital stroke research projects that are needed to change the story for more people – saving lives and helping stroke survivors to recover.

Donate to fund stroke research and change the story for stroke survivors.

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