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PEOPLE who suffer strokes are wrongly being told their recoveries would be limited to within the first year.

Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association, said: “It’s shocking that so many people are told that there is a time limit to their recovery. It can be demotivating and soul destroying, when we know evidence is to the contrary. It makes our job harder but even more important.”

A survey by the charity, involving 1,000 stroke victims, found that four in five people were left them despairing about their recovery.

  • More than one in ten people were told that their recovery would be as good as it gets when they left hospital.
  • One in four were told that most of their recovery would be limited to the first two to three months after leaving hospital.
  • One in five were told that most of their recovery would only take place within the first 12 months after leaving hospital.
  • Only one in ten were told that their recovery would continue years after leaving hospital.

Juliet Bouverie continued: “We know that stroke survivors cling onto even the smallest glimmer of hope. This is what powers them on to achieve what many thought would be impossible. I’ve heard so many stories of remarkable people making recoveries even 20 years after their stroke.

“This survey was conducted before the pandemic and while shocking then, it’s likely to have become worse as people’s fears of coronavirus and not wanting to burden the NHS overtake their hopes. Hope is the bedrock to rebuilding lives.”

Marion Walker, Emeritus Professor of Stroke Rehabilitation at the University of Nottingham, said: “Stroke occurs in an instant, leaving survivors and their loved ones shocked, bewildered and frightened about what the future may hold.

“Sadly, in many cases individuals will have suffered some physical and emotional impact from the stroke. The quickest recovery takes place in the days and weeks after a stroke.

“But recovery can continue for months and years after a stroke. While it is important to be honest with stroke survivors, we need to ensure that we are presenting them with the facts to ensure they maximise their recovery.

“Despair may seem like a natural reaction to the stroke but it is so important that we as professionals work with our patients to show them that a meaningful and full life is possible. Keeping a positive attitude will most definitely enhance the recovery journey.

“All too often we hear of individuals being discharged from hospital into a vacuum of care, knowing little of the available services or how to access them. I know how much pressure our health care system is under with Covid-19, and that’s why it’s important that charities like the Stroke Association can be there for everyone affected by stroke.”

Click here to find out about the Stroke Association’s Rebuilding Lives campaign