Last year my life completely changed. Out of nowhere I suffered a stroke. I was completely taken by surprise, there were no warning signs.

I woke up during the night and I just knew something was wrong. My husband, Joe thought I had just fallen out of the bed and hit my head. My arm and leg were numb and I was trying to tell him what was going on but all that was coming out of my mouth was gobbledygook. I just wanted to get to the hospital.

Things were different after my stroke; I lost my confidence and found communicating really difficult. I really struggled with simple tasks that I had totally taken for granted before. My shoulder has been frozen ever since my stroke and that can make things like getting dressed in the morning much harder.  

There was a time where I didn’t think I’d ever get back to doing certain things. I couldn’t imagine being out and about again and ordering coffees. But thanks to Katie my volunteer from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, I am.

Katie has gotten me out of the house and socialising again.  We meet every week at one of the local coffee shops. I was quite nervous at the beginning and definitely quieter than I am now. But Katie has really helped me. Initially Katie would do exercises with me to help me improve my speech but now as I have become more confident we have a good blether and share lots of laughs.

Thanks to Katie my confidence is building and I’m getting my life back.  

Katie has reminded me to keep going and pushing forward. I know I’ll never be quite the same as I was before my stroke but I’m adapting, finding new positives and moving on.

It’s so important to find out what support is available to you – whatever it is that you might be going through. I feel very lucky to have Katie helping me and I know that there are other people out there that could benefit so much from having a volunteer.

My stroke turned my life upside down but Katie has helped to get me back on my feet.

I think this week and every week we should thank and celebrate people like Katie, who are giving up their time to transform people’s lives. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Katie.

Volunteers Week Scot runs from 1 – 7 June 2019 – find out more!