Halifax Sky Sports darts commentator Rod Stutt praises staff after stroke

Sky Sports darts commentator Rod Studd has praised staff at Calderdale Royal hospital as he recovers from a stroke.

Friday, 18th September 2020, 12:00 pm

The 52-year-old from Halifax had a stroke in May 2020, during the UK lockdown.

He has praised the nurses and staff at the hospital as he continues his recovery.

Rod said: “I was out in the garden in May this year, when I started to feel uncomfortable, woozy and unwell. My face and mouth were drooping. My wife, Louise, immediately knew I was having a stroke.

Sky Sports darts commentator Rod Studd from Halifax

“Louise followed the FAST advice and dialled 999 immediately. The ambulance came in 15 minutes, and I was taken to Calderdale Royal Infirmary. I feel lucky – I could have been on a long walk in the middle of nowhere and not got to hospital as quickly.

“The care I received during my five weeks at the Calderdale Royal stroke unit was simply magnificent. I have nothing but praise for the NHS nurses, doctors and physiotherapists that helped me when I needed them most. I’ve had to learn to walk again and I received physio and occupational therapy every day. I should have had a face-to-face appointment with the Stroke Association whilst I was in hospital, but that couldn’t happen because of Covid-19 restrictions.

“I’m continuing with regular physio now - some provided by the NHS and some that I’m able to pay for privately. It’s exhausting, but I am determined to keep giving 100%, because I know that will help my recovery. I am proof of the difference that intense and personalised rehabilitation can make. My stroke affected my speech, but I’m making real progress which is great. Being a Darts Commentator, speech is vital to my career and I’m hoping to get back behind the mic in time for the World Championship in December."

The commentator was also highlighted a report by the Stroke Association about

The Stroke Association is calling for immediate actions from governments and local health systems across the UK to stem a ‘rising tide’ of demand on the NHS and UK health services that could ‘take years to solve’ if left unchecked.

The charity said with enough physio, speech and language therapy and mental health support, stroke survivors can recover, but only if governments and local health systems act now, according to the first report into the effects of Covid-19 on stroke survivors by the charity.

“This report shows the variety of ways that the pandemic has affected stroke survivors and those around them.

"Seeing what others have been through during lockdown, I feel fortunate about the treatment and care I received, and I have had great support from Louise. I hope that decision-makers make sure that all those affected by stroke get the support they need to rebuild their lives.”

The Stroke Association’s ‘Stroke recoveries at risk’ report calls for:

· All community rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy to meet national clinical guideline levels to ensure all stroke survivors can access the vital support they need and should be receiving.

· Stroke teams to follow up with all stroke survivors who had a stroke this year to make sure they have not been abandoned and are in line to receive the support they need to help them recover and cope with the effects of their stroke.

· Health and care systems to prioritise increasing the provision of and access to mental health services to stem the significant emotional and psychological effects of experiencing a stroke, which have only been made worse during the pandemic period with thousands of people left extremely anxious and isolated.

· Governments and local authorities should provide adequate support to carers to cope with the additional pressures of Covid-19 to ease the burden of constant, round-the-clock caring for loved ones with even less support than normal.

There are 1.2 million stroke survivors living in the UK and over 100,000 strokes every year, making stroke the leading cause of adult disability. The Stroke Association estimates that there are over 35,000 stroke survivors who had a stroke during the pandemic and who require more support.

The charity’s new ‘Stroke recoveries at risk’ report, based on the experiences of 2,000 stroke survivors and carers, shows that stroke care is on the precipice of a national crisis and risks thousands of stroke survivors’ hard earned recoveries slipping backwards.

Juliet Bouverie, Chief Executive of the Stroke Association says: “Strokes didn’t stop happening because of the pandemic, but some treatments became unavailable and most stroke aftercare ground to a halt. This means more stroke survivors are living with avoidable, unnecessary disability. Stroke is a brain attack that affects 100,000 people a year – killing thousands and leaving others with complex and severe disability. Recovery is tough, but with the right specialist support and a ton of courage and determination, the brain can adapt after stroke.

“People under-estimate the trauma associated with the sudden life changing experience of having a stroke. The degree of support that stroke survivors need to reframe and adjust to a new normal, often needing to cope with lifelong disability, is a lot more than people realise. We need to see increased access to mental health support, so stroke survivors can cope with their mental health issues, made worse by lockdown and ongoing uncertainty.”

Key findings from the report:

- More than a third stroke survivors (39%) who had their stroke this year reported having not received enough rehabilitation, including physiotherapy(ii). This is backed up by stroke doctors, a third of whom (33%) reported reduced quality and quantity of rehabilitation on their ward(iii).

- More than half (53%) of stroke survivors have had therapy appointments or home care visits cancelled or postponed(ii).

- Seven in ten (68%) stroke survivors have felt more anxious and depressed(ii). Lockdown has exacerbated problems for the almost one million stroke survivors who live with a mental health problem caused by stroke(iv). Respondents told us they felt extremely depressed and lonely and had been going days without social contact. Calls to the Stroke Helpline have become increasingly distressed as many stroke survivors struggle to cope with isolation, the tasks of daily living and the pandemic’s financial effects.

- Over half (56%) of carers feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, particularly those caring for someone who had a stroke this year (72%)(ii).