Belfast Telegraph

'Dad was vulnerable... but he was sent home without the proper after-care'

Case Study

Bangor woman Carla Thompson
Bangor woman Carla Thompson

A woman who had a stroke at 28 has revealed her heartache after losing her father to the same condition three years later.

Carla Thompson was with her dad Glenn when he had his fourth stroke in April. He never regained consciousness.

At 60 he was already suffering the effects of three earlier strokes and Carla said he spent every day crying as he struggled to come to terms with living with a disability.

She said: "He was sent home and there wasn't enough after-care for him.

"He had limited vision and walked with an aid and like so many stroke survivors, including myself, he was vulnerable.

"Dad was never the same. He cried a lot and used to say 'I'm useless, I'm useless' over and over, and it was heartbreaking. Dad definitely needed more support to cope with the emotional impact of his disability.

"He actually had his final stroke in hospital and it was devastating. He was completely blind, unable to move or speak and was fed by a tube."

Carla (31), from Bangor, was with him when he had his final stroke.

She explained: "Dad's speech started to slur really badly so we phoned an ambulance.

"By the time we got to the hospital his speech had started to come back and they told him he could go home and come back to the stroke clinic at a later date.

"Dad turned away because he didn't like me to see him crying and I rubbed his leg and when I looked at his face, his eyes were fixed.

"I screamed for the doctors and they came flying in but dad was totally unresponsive, he was completely blind, unable to move or speak and was fed by a tube."

A care package was put in place to enable Glenn to return home, where he passed away a few weeks later.

Carla added: "It's very scary to watch someone you love die of something you have survived but fear it could happen again.

"Someone once said to me I probably have post-traumatic stress and it's probably true.

"It's hard to describe what's it like to cope with the effects of a stroke but I definitely think there should be more support and counselling for the huge emotional impact.

"It's like a tidal wave which takes over your life, and in my case, affects the whole family.

"I'm grateful for the support of my friends and family and my children who keep me going every day."

Belfast Telegraph

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