"If Lee hadn’t been there, I would have struggled.”
David, 59, from Leeds, had a stroke at the end of February 2020, just a few weeks before lockdown.
“I was driving on the motorway when I starting feeling woozy. I couldn’t really see properly, but fortunately managed to get home. I just thought I was feeling a bit fluey but my wife Lee recognised it was a stroke and dialled 999. I was talking and thought I was fine, but she said I wasn’t making any sense. I’m in a wheelchair from a previous illness, but I was leaning and started to slide over. My face had also dropped.
“Luckily the ambulance arrived within 10 minutes. I went to Pinderfields Hospital – I live in the middle of Leeds and Wakefield so they gave me the choice of where to go. I didn’t go to A&E but was taken straight to the stroke ward, where they did a CT scan and put me on me a drip overnight to clear any blood clots."
David talks of the impact of his stroke and how Covid-19 has meant he has received less care and support with his recovery than he would have liked.
“The whole of my right side has been affected, and also my speech. I could walk a little before my stroke with crutches but now I can’t walk at all without my frame. The movement in my arm is coming back but I still can’t write or pick up a cup. Mentally, I get very emotional and very, very tired. Not being able to see my kids and grandkids when I was feeling down really got to me.
“I’ve had physiotherapy and occupational therapy. But they didn’t come out [to my house] as much as I would have liked, and a lot was over the phone or by video.
“I had carers come to visit me for the first few weeks to help me because I couldn’t get dressed or do anything myself and my wife Lee was at work. Unfortunately, they had to stop because of COVID-19 and had to focus on other cases that needed the support more – they were short-staffed. My wife was put on furlough and she could then support me. If Lee hadn’t been there, I would have struggled.”