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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine


The fun-filled adventures of a stroke thriver – rebuilding a life after stroke when merely surviving is not enough.

In May 2014, Louise and her partner, with two friends, embarked on a three-week walking holiday aiming to complete several stages of El Camino – a long distance pilgrimage walk from the south of France to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, crossing the Pyrenees on the way. They walked from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos covering 12-15 miles every day as one of several adventures to mark my 60th year. One day after returning home to Essex she woke up on my bedroom floor, unable to feel or move her left arm or leg and unable to get up and with no memory or idea of how she'd got there. After several hours of lying on the floor, friends came and discovered her and called an ambulance. Louise was then taken to hospital where she was told that she'd had a stroke caused by a small blood clot which blocked her middle cerebral artery and cut off the oxygen supply to the right side of her brain. She was admitted and spent four months in hospital to make a start on what has proved to be a marathon rehabilitation process, which continued after she returned home in a wheelchair, as a shadow of the woman she'd been prior to the stroke. This book is the story of my recovery and rehabilitation from a devastating brain injury and describes how, with the help and encouragement of her partner, louise used challenges and goals to constantly push herself forward and to very gradually reclaim some control over her life and to move from feeling like a useless burden on my nearest and dearest to feeling happy and that her life is worthwhile and a positive contribution to society.


Louise was born and brought up in Ilford, Essex and after leaving school in 1973, spent four years at Chelsea College of Physical Education in Eastbourne where she qualified as a teacher of Physical Education. In 1977 she started working at a school in Edmonton, in North London where she remained for the next 33 years, working her way up to a Deputy Head Teacher’s position, eventually retiring at the end of 2010. Three years into retirement she unexpectedly suffered a major stroke which left Louise disabled and dependent on her civil partner, Isabel.

This book is published by Rosina Umelo in conjunction with WRITERSWORLD, and is produced entirely in the UK. It is available for sale at over 3,500 bookshops, internet book retailers and libraries in over 100 countries and is distributed by Gardners Books Limited the United Kingdom's largest book wholesaler.


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