Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Making the difference 2012: Best Carer

Michelle and Stephen Gifford’s lives changed forever in December 2008 when after three years of marriage he suffered a life-threatening stroke.

Stephen, who was just 31 years old at the time, was rushed to hospital, fighting for survival.

Doctors told Michelle, from Lisburn, Co Antrim, to prepare for the worst. But Stephen, who was critically ill, beat the odds and pulled through.

“It was an amazing feeling after being told there was no hope,” Michelle said.

During his slow recovery Michelle, who is supported by The Stroke Association NI, stayed by his side.

Initially his progress was very slow — he was unable to talk, sit up and was bedbound.

Since Stephen suffered the stroke Michelle gave up her job as a supermarket manager. The inspirational woman has now dedicated her life to caring for him.

Nominating Michelle, MLA David McClarty said: “It is so important the work of carers in Northern Ireland is recognised and Michelle is an inspirational person who has dedicated her life to caring for her husband.”

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