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“I was scared I wouldn’t get to spend another Christmas with my family”

My name is Paula. I’m a wife and a mum of two beautiful children who cannot wait for Santa to come this Christmas.

I am also a stroke survivor.

“I thought I was going to die. William didn’t know if this was the last time he would see me alive.”

I was only 29 years old when I had a stroke.

Because of you, I am able to celebrate Christmas with my family and that means everything to me. But there are so many families across Scotland who still need your help.

We cannot change the past, but your support means we can help give someone a more hopeful future.

So please, if you are able, give what you can to make sure more people like me get the help and hope they need this Christmas.

I thought I was going to die.

One minute I was ceilidh dancing at a friend’s wedding. The next I was on the floor.

At the hospital, my husband William kissed me goodbye as the doctors and nurses took me away to treat me. I told William, “I love you”. And I said tell our little boy, William, how much mummy loves him.

I thought I was going to die. My husband did not know if this was the last time he would see me alive.

When I woke up the next day, they told me I’d had a stroke. My right arm and leg weren’t working, and I couldn’t walk.

My stroke affected my whole life. I had little hope for the future.

My little boy was only two when I had my stroke. Not being able to pick him up and hug him broke my heart. It was devastating.

Help people affected by stroke this Christmas.

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“Your help means that people like me can look forward with hope.”

Life on hold

William and I had planned a cruise for my 30th birthday and intended to have another baby. But the doctor told me I could not travel and to put any plans for pregnancy on hold.

Every day I asked the doctors if I would walk again, and they would say the same thing to me: “We don’t know.”

I cried all the time. I felt guilty for surviving and felt so hopeless.

But I am here today because of you and because of the support that I got from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. This support gave me an anchor of hope.

My stroke nurse Lyndsey helped me see that I could find my happy again. This was the lifeline I needed to help me move forward in my recovery.

Christmas is a time to be thankful

Each day I have a grateful heart that I get to celebrate these special moments with my husband and children. There was a time when I could never have imagined I would be here to celebrate another Christmas with the people I love.

Not only have I had the enormous pleasure of helping William, who is now eight, write his letter to Santa for the last six years since my stroke, I have also had the incredible gift of becoming mum to Erica, who is now three.

Every memory we create together is one I get to treasure thanks to supporters like you.

Now I am helping others create their own treasured memories of Christmas, too, because now I am proud to work for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, this special charity that has helped get me back on my feet.

As a family, we don’t need to imagine the help and support that Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland gives to thousands of stroke survivors every year as we have lived through it.

All of this was only possible thanks to your generous donations.

Thanks to your kindness, we can keep that vital support going, year on year. You can make not only this Christmas but many more to come so special for so many people in need.

Please, give what you can to give the gift of hope to more families like mine this Christmas. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


“So please, if you are able, give what you can to help more people like me and families like mine get the help and hope they need this Christmas.”



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

Donate £10


You can give someone one hour of vital one-to-one help with a support worker to get back to enjoying life when they come home from hospital.

Donate £20


Would help train a volunteer kindness caller to make sure there is always someone at the end of the phone for people in need of help.

Donate £40


Your gift will mean that someone can attend an online support group for three months, helping them cope with the emotional and physical impact of stroke.

Donate £50

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