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Patient in Flintshire's new stroke rehab centre thanks consultant for 'saving him'


A new stroke rehabilitation centre has opened in Deeside Community Hospital as part of a £3million programme to improve stroke care in North Wales. 

The first male patient in the stroke rehabilitation centre Carl Lamb, 59, from Rossett, has thanked Flintshire and Wrexham’s new Stroke Consultant Nia Williams for helping him during his recovery. 

Carl, a joiner by trade, collapsed whilst working and when he called his wife and heard himself speak, he realised he was slurring his words and that he’d had a stroke. 

Carl was taken to the nearest hospital in Cheshire and transferred to Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s stroke ward. He was then given the first male bed available in Deeside’s new Stroke Rehabilitation Centre.  

Carl said: “I met Nia when I was transferred to Wrexham Maelor Hospital, and she got me moved to the rehab centre. She is amazing, she saved me and got me to where I am today.  

“I couldn’t speak after my stroke, I was slurring a lot, but it’s much better now. I still can’t move my left arm, and I’m in the process of learning how to walk again, but time is a healer, recovering from a stroke is definitely not a day fix. 

“I was very active before, I couldn’t sit still at all and liked making things with my hands. I’ve had to slow down but I’m feeling very positive. 

“My wife is very happy I’m here, it’s much nicer for her to come see me rather than at an acute site. I’m hoping my dog Oscar will be able to come in soon to visit me too.” 

Carl has made vast improvements thanks to the support from a full range of multidisciplinary specialist staff including Physiotherapists, Nurses, Doctors, Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists. 

Read here to find out about the Stroke Early Discharge Service and how the team helped Susan. 

Carl’s wife Jo said: “Carl’s sudden stroke was devastating for us as a family and it has been really difficult to come to terms with the severe effect it has had on him physically and emotionally. When your partner has a stroke it also has a huge impact on your own life, and Nia and the team at Deeside know this.  

“The continual care and consideration the whole team offer to me has been an invaluable support in trying to come to terms with what has happened to Carl. They encourage me to participate in some of his therapy sessions and we have regular update meetings to keep me informed with his progress, and to help Carl jointly develop clear goals to increase his chances of recovery. 

“I personally feel so looked after and know that everyone who is supporting Carl aren’t just doing their jobs as professionals, they are all totally invested in helping Carl to recover to be as well as he can be.  

“I’m just immensely grateful that he is being cared for at Deeside’s Stroke Rehabilitation Centre and feel total appreciation for all the support, care and love we are both receiving from everyone there.” 

The centre includes newly refurbished areas including a gym and a homely visitors room. Patients are encouraged to engage in activities and exercises designed to promote recovery and independence, including daily self-care tasks, walking and communication and cognitive tasks – all of which are known to enhance the odds of recovery after stroke. 

Nia said: “I’m delighted to see the improvements Carl has made over the last few months, and I’d like to thank him for his kind words. The whole team will sorely miss him when he goes home. 

“This is why having a dedicated stroke specialist rehabilitation centre in the community like this is so important, to help boost a patients’ recovery in a specialist setting with a range of healthcare practitioners. 

“It is a privilege to be a part of the development and delivery of this new specialist service for stroke and a truly humbling experience to work with such a dedicated team of individuals who work with stroke patients and their families to gain as much recovery as possible.” 

This is the third new specialist community inpatient rehabilitation centre to open in North Wales with one based in Ysbyty Eryri, Gwynedd and another in Llandudno General Hospital. 

The stroke rehabilitation centre is part of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Stroke Improvement Programme which also includes a new preventative service, where specialists will work with GPs to screen patients who may be showing signs that they may have a stroke in the future, and an Early Supported Discharge service which will help some patients recover at home, rather than in hospital or a clinical setting. 

Read more here about Llandudno’s Stroke Rehabilitation Centre, and here for Gwynedd’s.