Ness Morley, a stroke survivor from Sebastapol, Pontypool, is supporting the Stroke Association’s ‘I Am More Than My Stroke’ Christmas appeal after her life was turned upside down by a stroke two days before Christmas 11 years ago.
Ness was aged just 42 at the time and for the next two years until she found support through the Stroke Association she was terrified Christmas would bring about another stroke.
She said: “After my
Every year thousands of people have to cope with the physical and emotional impact of stroke. Donate to help a stroke survivor find the magic of Christmas again and believe “I am more than my stroke” https://t.co/zc6ozNTa8g pic.twitter.com/01Vyq1P1YA— Stroke Association (@TheStrokeAssoc) November 5, 2018
7,400 strokes in Wales each year
There are around 7,400 strokes in Wales each year. Stroke continues to be a leading cause of disability and over 80 per cent of stroke survivors require help with daily living such as walking, washing, eating and communicating. The ‘I Am More Than My Stroke’ Christmas appeal is seeking to raise money for the Stroke Association so that the charity can continue to help more stroke survivors with their recovery.
Ness, who had been working as a deputy matron at a nursing home when she collapsed and was rushed to hospital, added: “I had two brain heamoridges and a stroke. But even though I had taken care of stroke survivors as part of my job, it’s surprising how much you don’t realise about stroke until you’ve had one yourself.
“I couldn’t bend my knee at all, my arm was welded to my side, I couldn’t speak and my vision had gone blurry. However, the first thing I was determined to do was not to have to be hoisted back into bed – I was so happy when I could stand up with help, and sit down on the bed myself.”
The Strike a Chord Choir
After months of feeling
Ness said “I’d always sung since school, so it’s been great to have the chance to do it with other people who understand how you feel after a stroke. One member can’t speak much at all because of his stroke, but he’s able to sing beautifully. It’s a great thing to be part of and we are now preparing for our Christmas concert at Pontnewydd’s Mount Pleasant Hall at 7pm on 12 December. Getting the support to help me sing again and enjoy Christmas again has made me feel that I too am more than my stroke”
Carol Bott, Director of the Stroke Association in Wales, said: “For many stroke survivors, rebuilding their lives after a stroke is a long and challenging process. Stroke not only presents physical challenges, but the way it suddenly changes people’s lives and their plans for their future can also cause feelings of depression, anxiety and despair. However, we have seen that with the right support many people can be helped to live fulfilling lives following their stroke.
“As the only charity in Wales dedicated to supporting those affected by stroke, we help to address the emotional, practical and physical needs of stroke survivors and their families so they can achieve the best possible quality of life. However, we aren’t yet able to reach everyone who needs our help and that’s why our Christmas Appeal, ‘I Am More Than My Stroke’ is raising essential funds so that we can be there for more people like Ness.”
Find out more
To find out more about the help and support the Stroke Association offers and to make a donation to its Christmas Appeal visit stroke.org.uk/iammore.