Belfast Telegraph

Stroke survivor told to wait 12 months for a speech therapist got help from charity

Case Study 2: John Donaghy

John Donaghy at home in Jordanstown
John Donaghy at home in Jordanstown

a 67-YEAR-OLD stroke survivor turned to charity to help him speak again after being told he would wait 12 months for speech therapy on the NHS.

John Donaghy was working as a taxi driver in Antrim when he had a devastating stroke last December.

Despite the fact his speech was left badly affected as a result, he was told he would have to wait a year for therapy to help him overcome his communication difficulties.

He explained: "I went from being fit and healthy one minute to having a stroke the next, it was very scary. I spent two nights in hospital and then I was discharged home.

"I couldn't speak so I was assessed and told there were no speech therapists available to see me, that it could be a year before I would be looked at.

"It was only that I had heard about the Stroke Association and got in touch with them that I started to get the help that I needed without having to wait a long time.

"If it wasn't for the Stroke Association, I probably wouldn't be able to speak now.

"It's so difficult if your speech is affected; we live in such a fast society and if you don't have the answers ready for people by the time they turn around, then you're left behind.

"There's basically nothing for you from the health service after you leave the hospital after a stroke.

"All I got was a couple of tablets and was sent home, nobody except the Stroke Association has contacted me.

"There should be a lot more available to people who have strokes, even to help them come to terms with the mental health aspect of having a stroke.

"I'm actually going to counselling now and even that is voluntary.

"As it stands at the moment, people who have strokes are being failed by the health service."

Belfast Telegraph

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