Family in emotional appeal to save stroke unit


THE family of a local man who suffered a severe stroke just three months ago have praised the “fantastic” staff for the “outstanding” care provided at Enniskillen’s under threat Stroke Ward.
Wayne Hardman, a sports journalist and commentator who is originally from Toronto in Canada but now lives at Oakfield near Letterbreen, showed signs of disorientation and confusion one Friday evening back in June.
His wife Louise explained: “We were watching a DVD and all of a sudden Wayne went very quiet for about half an hour before he had the stroke. He then became very confused and his speech was incomprehensible.
“All he wanted to do was go up to bed and sleep. His eyes just looked so different so I knew it was something neurological and rang 999 who advised me to keep him awake.
“Wayne’s stroke happened in the late evening but less than a ‘golden hour’ later he was under the exceptional care of Professor Jim Kelly and his team at the South West Acute Hospital. How fortunate we were that the team of doctors and that vital time window of treatment had stayed open for us.”
After six weeks of care, humour and perseverance by staff and Wayne (75) alike, he came home.
While life for the couple has changed irrevocably, Louse says that due to huge support from the ‘re-ablement team’ of Carers, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, District Nurses and Social Workers, Wayne is “bound and determined” to keep going and regain his independence.
Daughter Fleur, who lives in Devon, has been flying back and forth to support her parents in the recovery process.
“It has been quite a journey but every time I come home and see Dad making further progress, I know that it’s thanks to the amazing staff at SWAH,” she said.
After her experience, Louise and Wayne have joined the newly formed SSOS (Save our Stroke Services) action group and are urging the community to pull together to keep the stroke unit open.
“It’s unbelievable to think the stroke services at our hospital are currently at risk. We must ensure that patients have equal opportunity for survival and wholeheartedly support these dedicated professionals,” Louise added.

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