Derbyshire man, 22, says his life 'changed forever' after stroke

Jason Hanrahan.
Jason Hanrahan.

A young man has told how his life 'changed in an instant' when he suffered a stroke.

Jason Hanrahan, who had a haemorrhagic stroke in 2013 when he was just 17, was left with memory loss, severe depression and anxiety.

He was also treated for anorexia as he was unable to keep any food down and had to spend the next three months bedridden after being discharged from Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.

The 22-year-old, of Shirebrook, said: "I know first-hand that stroke can turn your life upside down in an instant and change it forever.

"My stroke left me with violent headaches and depression, which was devastating.

"I would just lash out at people for no reason and I remember being so angry and thinking 'why did it have to happen to me, what happens now?'

"But despite what I've been through, the support I received from the Stroke Association made me feel that I am more than my stroke, I’m still me and I can still live my life.”

He added: "After my stroke I wanted to ignore it and shut everyone out.

"I soon realised, though, that it starts with me - you have to talk about it or you will never be happy.

"The Stroke Association gave me the opportunity to volunteer at a music studio which was perfect as I have always written and produced my own music.

"This helped me regain my independence and take control of my life again.

"I still have bad days but I'm getting myself back to where I was."

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Christmas appeal launched

There are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year.

Stroke continues to be a leading cause of disability and more than 80 per cent of stroke survivors require help with daily living such as walking, washing, eating and communicating.

Sara Betsworth, head of stroke support for the Stroke Association, said: "For many stroke survivors, rebuilding their lives after stroke is a long and challenging process.

"Stroke not only presents physical challenges - but the way it suddenly changes people's lives and their plans for their future can also cause feelings of depression, anxiety and despair which Jason has experienced.

"However, we have seen that with the right support many people can be helped to live fulfilling lives following their stroke.

"As the UK's only charity dedicated to supporting those affected by stroke, we help to address the emotional, practical and physical needs of stroke survivors and their families so they can achieve the best possible quality of life.

"However, we aren't yet able to reach everyone who needs our help and that's why our Christmas appeal - 'I am more than my stroke' - is raising essential funds so that we can be there for more people like Jason."

For more information about the Stroke Association and its Christmas appeal, visit www.stroke.org.uk/iammore