On Wednesday 20th June I was lucky enough to be invited down to London to attend the “Life After Stroke” awards luncheon at the Dorchester Hotel on swish Park Lane!
What a great event! A chance to celebrate the achievements of so many Stroke Survivors and Carers, as well as the thank those supporters of the Stroke Association without whose generosity, the majority of survivors would struggle to achieve as much as they do.
After a fantastic lunch, the ceremony was hosted by Neil “Doctor” Fox who told us about the Corporate Supporter award, the Trust Supporter Award, the Primary Care Award and the Stroke Group Award which was given to a group in Norfolk that after 8 months of setting up has over 40 members and moved to larger premises!!
But it was the awards to those “ordinary” individuals who refuse to be victims, which for me, was the highlight of the afternoon. People like:
Dennis Hill aged 60. Award for Volunteering
Angus Igwe aged 60. Award for Art
Jessica Colborn aged 18. Children & Young People’s Courage Award. Jess was 16 when stroke left her with left-sided paralysis but within 5 months was able to wash herself, make a cup of tea and go for a walk. And when presented her award by Hayley Tammoden, of Emmerdale and Dancing on Ice fame, it was revealed Jess is expecting her first baby! Fantastic news.
Anthony Lewis aged 43. Adult Courage Award (18 to 64 yrs.), Anthony was a fit 39 year old when left with right sided weakness and speech problems by stroke in 2007. Undeterred, he fought back and in 2010 he WALKED the Jersey marathon in 6 DAYS and raised £25,000 for the Stroke Association.
Bert Goodbourn aged 78. Adult Courage Award (65yrs and over) Bert has had a total of 5 strokes going back as far as 2001 but refuses to let his condition stop him leading an independent life. He is an advocate for disabled people and the first to fight for change in his local community.
Ross Dickie aged 31. Carers Award. In 2005 Ross’ childhood sweetheart, Zoe, had a massive stroke leaving her with right sided paralysis, no speech and Epilepsy. Since then, Ross has devoted his life to helping Zoe who can now walk short distances and has recovered most of her speech. Now married, he continues to aid and support Zoe in her recovery.
The afternoon was rounded off with a song from Louise Dearman, star of the hit West End musical Wicked whilst a film was shown reminding us of all the award winners and not a dry eye in the room.