News roundup: June 2023

someone's hands holding a newspaper open

Every month, we collect stories in the news about stroke. This month we look back on some exciting medical news and the stories of two stroke survivors who had very different experiences with support.

But before we start those stories, we wanted to bring something else to your attention.

Early this year, BT announced that they were switching their analogue phone network over to one delivered over broadband. The change is called Digital Voice.

In practice, this means that people's landline phones will be connected directly to their broadband router. The goal is to have everyone in the country switched over by 2025.

The first three regions for this upgrade will be the East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside, and Northern Ireland.

You will be contacted before this change happens. To learn more about how this will work and how to get support, please check out this information on AbilityNet.

Survivors stories

This month we're featuring the stories of two stroke survivors who had very different experiences both in hospital and with the support they received after.

Young people need more support

Nia had just turned 21 when she had her stroke. The headache she first reported to her doctor was dismissed as a hangover. But her mum took her to hospital where she was diagnosed as having had an ischaemic stroke.

"I felt angry and frustrated at what had happened to me. My friends of the same age were still able to go out and do the things people in their 20s do but, suddenly, I couldn't."

Nia Phillips, stroke survivor

During her recovery, Nia found there wasn't much support for people her own age. There were no leaflets telling her how to connect with other young stroke survivors.

With around 25% of strokes happening to people of working age or younger, something clearly needs to be done.

"We need funding to support young stroke survivors with their treatment and recovery, particularly in areas that most impact them, such as returning to education or work."

Katie Chappelle, Stroke Association Associate Director for Wales

You can read more about Nia's story on the BBC.

Therapy and support programmes are important for recovery

After Phillip's stroke at 49 and rehabilitation, he was lucky to find a local stroke group specialising in providing support after rehab has ended. This group provided him with education and exercise, as well as a much-needed confidence boost.

"They gave you that gentle push along or the tough love with a smile on their face when you needed it. It gave you a reason to get out of bed in the morning. You were meeting people who have been through the same thing and are in the same boat."

Phillip Annett, stroke survivor

You can read more about Phillip's story on Belfast Live.

A great big thank you

So many people do so many amazing things to fundraise for the Stroke Association. We wish we could thank everyone.

This month one particular story really caught our attention.

Posturite is one of our corporate partners. They are an ergonomics company based near Eastbourne, Sussex. 

And they have raised over £8,000 for the Stroke Association by taking on a truly amazing cycling challenge. 

Their Managing Director and two of their account managers cycled 436km (270 miles) from South Yorkshire to their head office in just three days!! A further 34 staff members cycled 680km (422 miles) on an indoor training bike. That's 28 hours, 2 minutes and 6 seconds of cycling! 

You can read more about their amazing journey on the Sussex Express. But we just wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to the team for taking on this challenge, especially in the middle of a heatwave.

Medical news

In June, a number of new research studies were published about risk factors for stroke.

  • People who have trouble falling or staying asleep may be at increased risk of having a stroke. Read more on the Guardian. There is also some advice for coping with insomnia on the NHS website.
  • Men and women with migraines have an increased risk of having an ischaemic stroke (caused by a blood clot). Women with migraines may also have a higher risk of a haemorrhagic stroke (caused by a bleed on the brain). Read more on the Independent.
  • People with inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn's or colitis, are more likely to have a stroke than people without the condition. Read more on Health News.
  • A new study is trying our heart monitors in supermarket trolleys to detect atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is a leading cause of stroke. You can read more on the BBC.

If you have any of the conditions above and are concerned about your risk of stroke, please speak to your GP for personalised advice. You can also visit our web pages on reducing your risk.

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