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A lifeline in lockdown

Retired care worker Patricia was terrified when she had a stroke out of the blue on a bus – just weeks before coronavirus struck.

She felt terrified and alone, and was really struggling.

But then she was matched with our Kindness Volunteer Sam. Her calls were a lifeline which helped Patricia get through lockdown.

Absolute terror

Patricia, 68 from East Kilbride, had a stroke just weeks before lockdown began, on the same day as moving into a new house.

“I was on the bus to see my new house and move a few bits and bobs in, when I started to feel unwell,” explains Patricia.

“I dropped my bag and realised I couldn’t pick it back up. My hand and my arm weren’t working.

“There was a man sitting on the other side of the bus and I tried to get help and ask if he could call an ambulance. But I think he thought I was drunk and he wouldn’t look in my direction.”

She felt terrified and alone. Somehow she managed to get herself home and was rushed to hospital after a call to her sister for help.

A feeling of absolute terror was racing through me.

“In hospital the doctors performed a thrombolysis and after that things thankfully started improving. My speech started coming back and I started getting feeling in my right side again,” Patricia said.

Kindness calls

After getting home from hospital, her biggest fear was having another stroke while trapped at home by herself. But then she was matched up with Kindness Volunteer Sam from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. Sam began supporting Patricia with regular kindness calls.

“I was feeling rather low until Samantha came into my life. She has helped me so much and it’s been absolutely amazing,” explains Patricia.

“When she called at the start, I felt like my speech was really bad. I was very tearful and very frightened at the beginning and she was just amazing.

“The first time on the phone she just let me cry myself out and she was exactly what I needed.”

Sam Kindness Caller volunteer

Kindness Caller Sam was a lifeline for stroke survivor Patricia during lockdown.

As well as being a friendly, supportive voice at the end of the phone, Sam also helped Patricia get her shopping delivered when she was unable to leave the house, and showed Patricia how to contact her GP for help.

“At first, we worked on putting the practicalities in place so Patricia felt back in control as her confidence started to come back,” says Sam.

“We now chat twice a week, very often at length, covering so much more.

“I often feel it’s Patricia that has made a difference to my life rather than the other way around and I really look forward to our calls.

“Although our calls are fun and light hearted, Patricia knows that if she needs support with anything or would just like to offload, I am here for her.”

A lifeline in lockdown

Having Sam there for support means everything to Patricia.

“She is a really special person and has been my lifeline through all this lockdown,” Patricia adds.

“Sam is there for me and she helps me through the really bad days. I would say to anyone who may be struggling right now to please reach out and get in touch with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.”

Thanks to your donations, people like Patricia can get the support they really need right now.

You can donate to help fund more Kindness Calls by visiting

People are leaving hospital feeling scared and alone. You can change that.

Your donation can help people do more than just survive – you can help them really live.


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