Here’s a brief history I’ve recently supplied for my footballer friend and fellow locked-in recoverer, Nick Clarke, who does such a sterling job for his local Stroke Association. I hope it will encourage all you other victims of this life-changing condition and help you get back on your feet!
My name is Pete Coghlan and I am 36 years of age. 3 years ago I was struck down by a blood clot in the brain (stroke) of massive proportion; I hit my head on a sharp piece of concrete while helping my stepfather Ted lay pipes. It penetrated my skull, hitting the area of the brain known as the pons, leaving me like something out of ‘I Robot’, the Will Smith film.
Lifeless!!!! Totally blind for the first few days; unable to swallow, talk or even move my lips. Everything had been wiped out; I was a dribbling mess and petrified!!!
The only one movement I was blessed with was being able to blink my eyelids (hence the title of my book: “IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE ”
If I hadn’t had support from my wife Jade, my sister Vicky, Mum and others, I would have given up.
My communication board was the only thing I could use to make myself understood – and use it I did. A few letters (day 1), words (day 2), then, weeks later I was able to blink out my thoughts. I have come along long way since those dark days, having tried everything over the last 3 years, working on every little movement for hours every day. And now I can work, drive, talk ( thank God) and walk 12 kilometre marathons for charity.
I’m seeing improvements even now and I refuse to believe I can’t achieve more in the future.
All I can say to those who have a strong desire to heal themselves is to PUT THE TIME IN!!! A simple way to see things is to imagine a baby: How long it takes to walk, then to learn to eat, plus hours of shouting in a playground (years actually). To a child, it can never happen fast enough, the same applies to you.
There’s no easy way out, but with a little regular exercise every day, you’ll get there!!! Just never give up on yourself (NEVER).
Cry – yes we all do!! But next day try again, and again, and again and never stop trying and you may just surprise yourself!!!
As someone once said: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again!”