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“Stroke turned my life upside down, but I am determined to stay positive.”


My name is Alison. I’m 47, I’m a mum, a daughter. But I’m also something else I never expected to be – I’m a stroke survivor.

Stroke turned my life upside down, and it has also changed the lives of my family forever. It would have been so easy to ask, “why me?”, to be bitter and angry about what has happened to me. But I won’t let myself feel that way. I am determined to stay positive and to use my experience to help others.

Having a stroke is devastating, but I have been able to take huge steps in my recovery over the last year because of you and the support you give to Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

But there are thousands of people like me who, right this very minute, are struggling to deal with what has happened to them, whether that’s because of stroke or another life-changing health condition.

So, please, if you can, donate to this special charity. When you do, you help give people like me hope and the very best chance of living life to the full again.


My life changed in an instant

“At the age of 47 my life changed in an instant”

My stroke happened in January last year. I don’t remember much of that.

I had just got home and shouted to my mum Eileen for a cup of tea. I walked to the fridge for milk, and I remember just falling to the floor. I tried to get back up, but I couldn’t. I somehow got myself to the kitchen worktop, but then I fell again.

Everything after that is a blur. I was rushed to hospital where doctors told me I had had a major stroke. I was terrified and I had no idea what it might mean. I couldn’t move my right side.

No one was sure if I would even walk again.

Recovery is incredibly hard. It’s hard for you because you feel alone and scared. You are not who you were.

It’s hard for your family as they have to watch you struggle. They want to help but often don’t know how. And recovery is so mentally difficult. I went from being independent and capable to not being able to do anything for myself, and it happened in an instant.

I couldn’t do anything for myself

My mind was affected, too. I struggled with my memory and my emotions, and I suffered from terrible stroke fatigue.

Mum had to help me get dressed as I simply couldn’t do it by myself. I still can’t do things like lift the quilt over me on the right side because my arm is so weak. Things like this are so hard to come to terms with.
I have had to find a way to deal with all the issues that stroke has caused, including with my short-term memory and with my mobility.

The turning point for me was getting support from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

Their help and advice changed my outlook and made me realise I wasn’t alone. I would not be where I am today without the support of this special charity and the love and devoted care of my mum.

I know how lucky I am to have both in my life, but I also know so many people aren’t so lucky and don’t get the help they need. That is what I want to change.

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland gave me the tools to realise I could still live a positive life, and that helped to change my recovery.

I began to feel like I had some control back over my brain and my life again. The support has made a massive difference to my recovery and my life.

“Stroke turned my life upside down, but I am determined to stay positive.”

My wonderful mum is driving me on

When I look back to how I was a year ago, I never thought I’d recover.

I’ve met some amazing people on my stroke journey, but I couldn’t have done any of this without my incredible family supporting me and a mum who drives me on. I love her to bits. I’m a mum myself, but her devotion to my recovery is remarkable.

Knowing mum has my back, and knowing I can turn to Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland to support me on every step of my recovery journey, has made the world of difference to me.

Thank you for your generous support of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, which means this wonderful charity can help the many people in Scotland to do more than just survive after a stroke or diagnosis of a life-changing condition.

Your support means so much because it can help people like me live life to the full again.

Thank you.



Help change lives across Scotland


Will fund a call to our Advice Line nurses for anyone worried about the effects of stroke.

Donate £10


Will provide one hour of vital one-to-one support at home to help someone adjust to life after stroke.

Donate £20


Would help train a volunteer Kindness caller to make sure there is always someone at the end of the phone for people who feel isolated and lonely after stroke.

Donate £40

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