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The Buzz > Stroke survivor was down to his last few meals before support worker stepped in

Stroke survivor was down to his last few meals before support worker stepped in

David Jackson stroke survivor self-isolation

Stroke survivor David was so worried about where his next meal was coming from until Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland and local butcher Fraser Bros got together to organise and deliver his weekly shop.

Retired Primary School Teacher David Jackson, age 66 from Elgin, found himself running out of food during lockdown and was literally counting out his last few meals in the freezer.

But thankfully, his regular call from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Community Support Coordinator, Paula came just in time.

David had a serious stroke in 2018, which left him unable to walk or talk. We supported David to return home from hospital, and back into the community where we helped him with his speech and mobility, and he regained his confidence.

But then coronavirus struck.

Scared and alone

Unable to leave the house, stroke survivor David was worried, anxious and alone.

“I was worried I would run out of food completely. I thought to myself what am I going to do? I can’t leave the house. I’m stuck in isolation and my supplies were running very low," explains David.

“I looked in my freezer and carefully counted out my meals to see how long it would stretch until things got really serious, and it was quite terrifying. I didn’t have enough food to last beyond a few days let alone weeks or months.

I thought to myself what am I going to do? I can’t leave the house. I’m stuck in isolation and my supplies were running very low.

“I started to panic but then Paula from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland called and asked how I was coping with self-isolation. 

“She told me not to worry and that together we would find a solution. Amazingly Paula tracked down a butcher in Forres that would be able to deliver to my house.”

A helping hand

“I could sense how distressed and anxious David was, but I was able to help ease his worries and told him we’d sort it out between us," adds Paula.

"I got on the phone to Fraser Bros Butchers in Forres and they were happy to deliver. I checked with David that he was ok for me to contact the butcher initially on his behalf and to explain his situation.

Paula Leask support worker for stroke survivor David

“So, I called the Butchers and was able fill them in on David’s disappointment and they were delighted to help.

"I took the time to explain that when David called them back to place his order that they would need to give him a wee bit of time to explain what he needed and time for him to process the conversation, due to being a stroke survivor and him having aphasia.  The Butchers were really engaged and more than happy to oblige.”

Making the order

Within half an hour David called the butcher, he was able to take his time, and complete his order over the phone himself.

“I rang the butcher to place my order and they were really kind and helpful over the phone, and even delivered that day. They were fantastic I can’t thank them enough," says David.

“I’ve now got steak, mince and chops to last me for weeks now, as well as fresh fruit and veg, and it feels like such a relief to have food in the house again.

“With all these feelings of anxiety about being in isolation, and not knowing what is coming next, knowing that I won’t go hungry or struggle to find food is such a weight off my mind.”

Butcher, Graeme Duffus from Fraser Bros Butchers says:

“We had just started to look at delivering to households in our local community when we first heard from Paula. Donna who takes the calls gave David that extra wee bit of time and we were all really pleased to be helping him.

"It’s great that we are able to help so many people in the community get their shopping at this time and it was plain to see how chuffed David was with his delivery when we dropped it off.”

Supporting stroke survivor David

It meant a great deal for David to have the help to make this call on his own and he wouldn’t have been able to take control of this without the help of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Coordinator Paula Leask.

“Paula is fantastic and made me feel good about myself again. She gave me the confidence to phone and place my order – something that really would have been impossible just a year ago," adds David.

With all these feelings of anxiety about being in isolation, and not knowing what is coming next, knowing that I won’t go hungry or struggle to find food is such a weight off my mind.

“When I first had my stroke, I couldn’t speak at all. I couldn’t even count to ten, so being able to pick up the phone and place an order is a real achievement.

“Paula has helped me so much since having the stroke and even in lockdown she is there for me.

“And despite not seeing each other in person, she’s still helping me with my speech over the phone and online rehab exercises too. She even recorded hand exercise videos for me, so I can keep up with my rehab at home."

We need your help to reach more people like David who desperately need our help right now. Please give whatever you can to make sure no one has to fight this virus alone. Donate now: chss.org.uk/appeal

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