Life and love after stroke

Simon and Becki had strokes at age 17 and 21 – since then they fell in love and have co-written a book, Hidden in me, sharing their experiences.

Hidden in me
Credit: Headway
The couple want to spread awareness that stroke and brain haemorrhage happens to younger people. In an interview with BBC Ouch (starting at 38m24s) Becki explained: “We felt we wanted to tell our stories about how it [stroke] doesn’t have to be the end of something and it can be the start of something just as beautiful, just as great, just as fantastic, just as fulfilling as not having a brain injury. “The book is about the hidden potential of life after a brain injury and the things you can go on to achieve despite of, or even as a result of, a brain injury.” In the interview, Becki and Simon both remember their strokes happening and how they felt physically. While Becki felt lightheaded and was still planning to continue her journey to work Simon’s legs became heavy and his eyesight worsened before he felt he needed to sleep. Fortunately people stepped in to help both Becki (police on the street) and Simon (he was in an alleyway but seen on CCTV in the nearest building). The couple have different experiences of how much they remember. After his brain haemorrhage Simon experienced gaps in time, with no memory of about five days, and “a prolonged period of time when I didn’t know who I was.” After discussing their recoveries on BBC Ouch, the couple explained how they met. Their paths crossed when Becki went to collect a charity cheque for stroke at Simon’s place of work. Speaking about the advantages of going out with someone who has had a similar experience Becki said: “We just really understand each other even though our strokes were so different and the effects were completely opposite.” The couple explain how they notice if the other person is finding it difficult to achieve something and look at how they can help them. Becki said: “We have that understanding that things are a little bit harder sometimes and why.” The book Hidden in me can be bought online. You can also read Becki and Simon’s interview with Headway as part of its A New Me campaign.
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