I had a stroke in 2009, I was taken straight to the operating theatre as the right side of my brain was swelling and they had to remove part of my skull to relieve the pressure (a hemicraniectomy). Following the stroke my left arm was most badly affected as well as my memory, concentration, balance and speech. The stroke also caused me to have epilepsy.
I had 3 months of physiotherapy but had still only made very small improvements. My physiotherapist referred me to Ability Bow to continue exercising and make further progress in 2010.
When I first came here my trainer was Rita and its now Chantelle and Simohamed. My priority is working on my left arm as this is the aspect which remains most affected by my stroke. My overall strength and fitness is important but I like to focus on my arm especially so I do lots of exercises for my arms and upper body; that’s the chest press, seated row, arm cycle and lat pull.
When I first joined Ability Bow I was far less independent and attended with a carer because I didn’t feel secure or confident enough to get on the bus alone to come here. After a couple of months I felt happy to come alone to the gym twice a week; it helps that the staff are so friendly and helpful; Rita helped me very much and the equipment is great. The members are very sociable too.
I don’t need a one-to-one session anymore and now attend fully independently without. I am stronger than when I first came, more confident and have improved within myself; my family can see the difference in me.
When I became ill I had to stop work but now I go to college. I used to see my consultant once a month but now it’s just once a year. Another improvement that means a lot to me is that I previously couldn’t visit my sister at her home because she lives on the third floor where there is no lift. Now I can take the stairs and visit her at anytime! I also walked the Ability Bow 5k fun run and will be doing it again next year.