Christmas is tough for stroke survivors

Stroke survivor Edward Kerrod and wife Margaret

Stroke survivor Edward Kerrod and wife Margaret

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A survey has shown stroke survivors who struggle to communicate find Christmas frustrating and upsetting.

The Stoke Association quizzed those who have aphasia - which affects speaking, reading, writing and understanding - about their first Christmas wishes since their stroke.

A quarter said it would simply be to be able to say “Merry Christmas” and to ask what presents their loved ones wanted.

The survey also found 38 per cent reported Christmas was worse since their stroke - a feeling echoed by stroke survivor Edward Kerrod, 80, of Woodcroft Grange, Halifax.

Mr Kerrod had a stroke in Augsut 2010 in a swimming pool while on holiday.

He said while Christmas is worse, he does feel closer to people around him.

Mr Kerrod’s aphasia stops him going out alone so he enjoys attending the association’s local group to socialise.

Heidi Goldsborough, from the charity, said: “Edward was initially told he wouldn’t walk or speak again. Since coming to the group, his confidence has soared, not only in his communication but in his mobility too. He can now walk short distances with a walking aid and can speak two or three words at a time.

“Edward is very expressive, so he uses pointing to help communicate what he wants.”

Edward’s wife Margaret said: “Edward really enoys the group, especially the activites. His confidence in all areas has really improved since attending.”

Julia MacLeod, head of operations for the Stroke Association Yorkshire and Humber, said: “Aphasia has a massive impact on stroke survivors’ lives. People are left feeling frustrated and lonely, particularly this time of year.”

The charity has developed a simple guide for communicating with people who have aphasia. To view the guide and find out more about the campaign, visit www.stroke.org.uk/aphasia.