Not just for the elderly - mum's shock after being struck down by a stroke - The Redditch Standard

Not just for the elderly - mum's shock after being struck down by a stroke

Redditch Editorial 3rd Nov, 2019   0

STROKES can happen to anyone, not just the elderly – that’s the message from Studley mum Tania Underwood.

The mum of two suffered her stroke last October – at the age of just 40.

“I’ll never forget the date, October 14.

“I woke up in the morning and it was textbook one-side paralysis – I knew immediately what it was,” she said.

“I tried to get up but couldn’t walk.

“My daughter got me my phone and I called for an ambulance and Studley First Responders were there in an instant and took me to Worcester.

Thumbs up: Stroke survivor Tania Underwood.

“To learn I’d had a stroke was a massive shock – I was a fit, healthy mother of two and it’s not what you expect – people think it’s an old person’s illness, but it’s not.”

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. This can be caused by a clot in a blood vessel or bleeding in, or around, the brain.

Tuesday this week was World Stroke Day and the theme of the campaign has been just that – strokes can happen to anyone, not just the elderly.

“For me it had come out of the blue – I was physically fit, my blood pressure was good and so was my cholesterol level.

“After a lot of investigations they put it down to an underlying medical condition, a hole in my heart.

“That’s in my case, but young people still do get strokes.”

Support came from her husband Andrew, a sports therapist, who for the first six months ‘did everything’.

“I just could not function at all but luckily I had him,” she said.

Now, although physically back to normal, Tania sometimes still has issues getting her thoughts into gear.

“I still get cognitive problems – the brain fog descends on me,” said the former Jaguar Land Rover worker.

However she’s managed to bounce back: Born in Germany she’s now set up her own business as a language teacher of German and Spanish and writes her own blog on coping with a stroke (@mummyhadastroke) and an instagram page (@tania_underwood).

Tania also recommends Different Strokes ( a charity dedicated to helping younger people recover from a stroke.

Think FAST if you think someone has had a stroke:

F – facial drooping

A – arm weakness

S – speech disturbance

T – time, if you find any of these signs it’s time to call 999


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