To mark Volunteer’s Week, Stewart Anderson received a message of thanks from His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, who is president of The Stroke Association.
Stewart, 70, from Newton Stewart had a stroke just over 12 years ago, which brought about his premature retirement and affected his speech, his spelling, balance, fatigue and emotions.
He said: “I felt largely OK before the ‘event’, but suddenly everything changed in an instant and I lost all sensation on the right side of my body and couldn’t speak at all. I had no idea what was happening to me.
“I live in a rural area, so it was a long way to hospital. Thankfully, my osteopath who I was with at the time, recognised my symptoms, and knew I was having a stroke. He dialled 999, and if it hadn’t been for his speedy action, and the speedy response and care of the paramedics, I may not have been able to receive a life-saving drug that has to be administered within 3.5 hours of symptoms starting.
“I have been left with some very slight disability, but have generally made a remarkable recovery.”
Stewart started volunteering with the Stroke Association in April 2013 and has spent nine years as a dedicated and irreplaceable volunteer.
Among his duties has been carrying out numerous blood pressure testing events in his local community. He is also a fundraiser, organising his own fundraising events and a stroke ambassador, raising awareness of stroke through talks at meetings and events. He most recently became a volunteer on a telephone befriending service for people who may be dealing with loneliness and isolation following their stroke.
Stewart added: “I was given so much help when I was recovering from my stroke, I wanted to give something back. I wanted to spread the message that strokes are preventable and that with support you can recover from a stroke.”