Stroke victim Ian in warning signs plea

A MAN who feared he would never walk again after suffering a stroke has bravely spoken out to raise awareness of the life-threatening condition.

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Ian Bannerman from Castlemilk is 65, and suffered a stroke at home five years ago Picture: Mark Gibson
Ian Bannerman from Castlemilk is 65, and suffered a stroke at home five years ago Picture: Mark Gibson

Ian Bannerman, from Castlemilk, was left terrified and lying slumped on the floor after waking at home to discover his right side was completely paralysed.

A blood clot had formed on the left side of his brain as he took an afternoon nap on the couch.

The grandad managed to get a hold of this phone and called his partner for help.

This was five years ago but the details of what happened have never left Ian.

And although intensive physiotherapy has helped him to walk again, he still suffers mobility problems as a result.

Ian - who has spoken out ahead of Brain Awareness Week which runs from March 10 - said that as well as the crippling physical symptoms of stroke, he struggled to cope with the emotional repercussions when his confidence took a knock and he was embarrassed to face people.

But a local support group helped him re-adjust and he has spoken out to help others spot the warning signs and get early, potentially life-saving, help.

Ian, who is now 65, told the Evening Times: "Before the stroke a neighbour stopped me and said they had noticed my leg was dragging a bit.

"I didn't know it at the time but this was my warning sign.

"However, I thought nothing of it and went about my day.

"Later that night I fell asleep on the couch.

"When I tried to get up I just rolled off onto the floor.

"My whole right side was numb. That was it."

Ian, who worked in the catering industry before he retired, managed to call his partner and while he couldn't speak she knew something was wrong.

He said: "I thought I was talking but the stroke had affected my speech and I wasn't making much sense.

"I had no idea what was going on - it was terrifying."

Ian was rushed to the Victoria Infirmary before being transferred to a specialist unit at the Southern General where he remained for nearly four weeks as a dedicated team worked to reverse the effects of the stroke.

He has praised the work carried out by medical staff there who he describes as "absolutely fantastic."

He said: "I remember the physio was working on my leg but there wasn't much improvement at first.

"She started massaging my foot with a towel and as she did so I began to move my toes.

"She said 'that's it Ian, it's coming back' and I cried."

The local man, who had no previous experience of stroke, said he was struck by the wide age range of patients being treated in the Glasgow hospital.

IAN attends a support group called Different Strokes every Sunday in Castlemilk and said members have included a 15-year-old girl.

The granddad, who was previously very active, is able to get around but still suffers from weakness in the right side of his body but his speech has returned.

He said: "I used to walk everywhere and do a lot of sports which I have had to give up."

Ian said that as well as the physical problems the emotional impact was hard to cope with but he thanks friends and family, medical staff and members of the Different Strokes group for helping to rebuild his confidence.

He said: "I used to hide from people. If I saw someone I knew I would cross the street.

"I was embarrassed and self conscious."

"But the support has been great - I don't know where I would be without it.

"Different Strokes is amazing. The group made me feel human again and gave me the strength to go on."

Ian added: "I had no awareness of stroke before I fell ill.

"If I had known what to look out for, I might have sought help earlier.

"I think it is really vital that people of all ages know about the early warning signs."

Health

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