Jerry Johnson Had A Stroke in May 2006

My English parents moved to Australia in 1964. I was born in Wollongong, New South Wales in 1965. As a young child I was diagnosed with a heart murmur.

When I was 8 we returned to the UK where over the next three years we lived in several places but finally settles in Northampton in 1979 where I passes my 'O' levels at the boys school in 1982.

When I was 20 years old I started work at a music and publishing company, and I married my lovely wife Becks in the same year. For two months of the year I was very busy with overseas trips to Europe and America. I was in this job for eight years, and then I became a music tour Manager for a band, followed by a year working for a Waste Paper Company.

During a routine annual check, it was discovered that my heart was getting worse and during a consultation at John Radcliffe Hospital, it was suggested that I have a valve replacement. I was given the option of a metal or pig's valve. In November 1995 I underwent an operation to have a metal aortic valve put in. When I returned home, my way of life gradually became more normal. I was prescribed Warfarin to keep my blood thin, and continue to take it to this day.

Work was staid and I became a student at Northampton University, studying for a BA (Hons) in politics and philosophy. I was also working part time for beer money at a small Finance company I then went on to do an MA in political behaviour elections at Essex University.

In 2002 I suffered a minor stroke during which only my eyes were affected.

During 2004 and 2005, I went to Manchester University to do an MSc in social research and statistic.

Having got my MSc, I then started to study for a PhD. I spent a lot of time travelling on the train, did lots of reading and writing on the journey, and occasionally I needed to stay in cheap hotels.

May 2006

I left my tablets in the hotel on one occasion and, I was on my way to work when I bumped into a colleague, I went to say "hello" and nothing came out. It soon became apparent there was something very wrong and my colleague called 999.

I was taken to Northampton General Hospital where I had a brain scan and it was discovered I'd suffered a stroke.

I spent lots of the first week sleeping. When I had visitors I knew faces but I couldn't recall names.

After a week I managed to say "Emma"... very slowly.

Every day I had speech therapy and occupational therapy. My stroke had caused Broca's Aphasia which meant I couldn't speak or read. I also had cognitive problems. My physical condition was fine, other than some numbness on the right side.

After my stroke in May 2006 I started to have a few epileptic fits for about 12 months which were brought under control with medication.

I do permitted work at Different Strokes Head Office as a bookkeeper for 3 years after having volunteered in that position for almost 2 years. I do carry out several volunteering duties as well.

This article by Jerry Johnson was posted in: Stroke Survivor Stories.


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