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Forest Gate stroke survivor speaks out for those lost for words

PUBLISHED: 14:12 16 November 2017

Forest Gate stroke survivor Bobby Saeed, 43. Picture: Stoke Association

Forest Gate stroke survivor Bobby Saeed, 43. Picture: Stoke Association

Stroke Association

A Forest Gate stroke survivor has spoken out about his struggles with speech.

IT consultant Bobby Saeed was left in an induced coma for 10 days after a devastating stroke in May 2013.

Now the 43-year-old is sharing his story to help highlight Lost for Words, a national campaign aiming to raise awareness of the challenges stroke survivors face.

Doctors diagnosed a severe bleed in his brain and warned his family he was unlikely to survive.

“But I was determined to get better because I’m a fighter,” Bobby said.

He awoke and spent three months at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, then a further six months receiving intensive rehabilitation at Northwick Park Hospital, Brent.

All the while he fought through limited movement down the right side of his body and aphasia, a brain condition causing problems with communication.

“I felt really low after my stroke,” he said.

“It was like I was a different person because I couldn’t talk to people in the way that I used to.”

But Bobby battled on, word by word.

He has “gone from strength to strength” after regular visits to the Newham Stroke Recovery and Prevention Service in West Beckton Health Centre, Monarch Drive, said Yusra Uney, a stroke recovery coordinator at the Stroke Association.

“When we first started supporting Bobby we knew just how determined he was to communicate with his loved ones again,” she said.

“I’m so proud of his recovery.”

A stroke is a life-threatening medical condition caused by blood supplies being cut off from the brain.

Around 100,000 of these “brain attacks” take place each year in the UK, the charity says, where more than 350,000 people have aphasia.

“After a stroke, around one in three people like Bobby have difficulty communicating, which can be both terrifying and isolating,” said Yusra.

“But with the right help and support, many stroke survivors are able to find new ways to communicate, and can rebuild their lives.”

The Stroke Association campaign hopes to help survivors who are lost for words find advice and the help they need.

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