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Focus on Stroke: East Ham stroke sufferer recalls the day he couldn’t talk

17:30 26 March 2014

Newham stroke club boss Abdul Shakoor

Newham stroke club boss Abdul Shakoor

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Abdul Shakoor was 48 when he suffered a stroke 12 years ago.

He was working as a finance officer in the City of London when one day mid-morning he started feeling extremely drowsy.

One of his colleagues noticed that he looked unwell and offered to drive him home but just as he went to say “It’s ok I can drive myself” he realised he could not speak.

Abdul, 60, said: “When I tried to speak, I could not find the words, my speech was slurred.”

Luckily for Abdul his colleague promptly took him to the Royal London Hospital where he stayed overnight. The next day when he woke up he found that he couldn’t walk or talk. He was in hospital for two weeks and although he was confused as to what had happened, his doctors told him he would get better so he put his trust in them.

On returning home he began to rebuild his life with the support of his family and started physiotherapy at the hospital. It took him six months to get the confidence to start walking. He also attended the hospital for his speech loss and it took him a year to get his speech back, however, once he started talking he sought out other stroke survivors to help and was referenced as a role model.

This led to him setting up a Stroke Club at the Hospital with a manager from the stroke wing and together they give talks to local places of worship and community groups to raise awareness of the condition.

He wishes he had managed his blood pressure better or known more about the impact of high Blood Pressure on Stroke,

Abdul, who lives in Waterloo Road, East Ham said: “Blood Pressure is a silent killer...you don’t see it, I now know my high blood pressure, which is prevalent in the Pakistani community, was probably a major factor for my stroke. While the stroke left me unable to return to my job, I wanted to raise awareness of the high risk of stroke in our community.”

Abdul has set up Newham Stroke Club at 254 Katherine Road, Forest Gate. The club holds meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays.

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