On Monday 4th December 2017 6.00am I, Malcolm Snelgrove aged 50, found myself collapsed on the floor not able to speak or move. My brain wanted to call to my wife but my mouth was not able to respond, after a few minutes I was able to crawl a few steps across the floor. A few hours later I find myself in hospital having had a CT scan being told by the A&E doctor that I had had a Stroke and was being transferred to the Stroke ward.
Having a stroke turns your life upside down in an instant and one of the scariest experience of my life. Thankfully I am one of the lucky ones who is recovering well, with my speech and loss of movement in my right side returned but many other stroke survivors aren’t so lucky, and have lost their speech, can’t read or write or function without assistance. I had a glimpse in hospital of the pain others were facing and can’t imagine what it must be like not to fully recover, which is why I’ve got so much respect and admiration for the survivors who everyday are finding different ways to express themselves again.
The Stroke Association’s Lost for Words campaign is brilliant because it is highlighting this problem and raising funds for its work supporting the people who need it.
I feel so lucky that I was given a second chance at life. The images of those less fortunate than myself lying in the hospital ward struggling to communicate or understand what has happened to them will stay in my mind forever.
Which is why I hope that Step Out Moor will be an opportunity for stroke survivors like myself, friends and families to get out and enjoy the countryside together while raising awareness of stroke and vital funds for the work that the Stroke Association do to support the stroke community.
My Personal goal is to achieve Dartmoor in a Day 50k on September 8th 2018 by taking Steps Out on Dartmoor to rebuild my fitness.