Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Stroke victim gets sight back ... but can no longer speak French

A grandfather has revealed that a massive stroke has miraculously cured his ailing sight.

Malcolm Darby (70) had worn glasses since the age of two due to measles. But after suffering a stroke, he found he could suddenly see without any help at all.

Mr Darby, from Oakham, Rutland, Leicestershire, yesterday said he now has “six pairs of glasses I don't need”.

He said: “I've worn glasses my whole life. I had them on when I had my stroke.

“I was doing some work in my study in May last year when I noticed a ‘drip, drip, drip' and started having a nosebleed.

“The next thing I knew was ‘bang' and I had collapsed.”

The 70-year-old was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot, and was left paralysed and unable to speak.

But as he began to recover, he noticed not only his speech was coming back.

“It wasn't until about four or five days later in hospital when a nurse walked past me with a newspaper under her arm and I could read the heading. I could never have done that before,” he said.

“After I got home I realised I could watch television without my glasses.”

Now the father of two is talking again and manages to walk four miles a day.

But recovering his sight was not the only strange effect of his life-changing stroke — the 70-year-old has lost his ability to speak French.

He added: “I'm on the mend now, so every cloud has a silver lining, especially with getting my sight back. But before the stroke I used to be able to speak French, and now I just can't get a word of it out.”

Joanne Murphy, research liaison officer at the Stroke Association, said today: “Visual problems can occur in stroke survivors as a stroke can damage parts of the brain that receive, process and interpret information that the eyes send.

“It is unusual to hear of someone whose vision has got better following a stroke. However, we do hear about survivors who have developed new skills after their stroke.”

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