On the road to recovery

“I can’t praise the Sapphire Service enough,” says West Bromwich resident Mark.

In early March, fit and active Mark, suffered a severe stroke. The 60-year-old retired Police Officer was rushed into Sandwell Hospital where he spent a week on the acute ward before being moved to a recovery ward.

“It was there that I first met Jason Denny from the Sapphire Service when he did the ward trolley run,” Mark explained. “We got chatting and he asked if I’d like someone to come and visit me when I was discharged. I share a house with a friend who works full-time so I knew I’d have to look after myself five days a week at home.”

The stroke left Mark unable to use his right arm and leg and with no voice. His voice recovered after a few days and, with plenty of physio, staff managed to get Mark walking again after two weeks.

Jason signed Mark up to receive support at home and Mark says it’s been ‘absolutely fantastic’.

“Jason and Viv filled in an initial questionnaire with me about how I was feeling and coping,” explained Mark. “They asked how I was going to get to doctors’ appointments and, within two days, had got me registered with the Ring & Ride service.

“They also referred me to the Stroke Association who’ve been brilliant and Jason’s trying to get a rail fitted outside the front of my house. I live right opposite the shops but I can’t get to them as there are two steps I can’t get down.

“They told me about Agewell’s exercise classes and I’m hoping to join one soon to help my recovery. It’ll be nice to get out and do exercises in a social setting with other people, rather than just at home on my own.”

The Sapphire Service has also referred Mark to Sandwell Assist to get some aids and adaptations at home and they helped with his claim for Personal Independent Payment.

Jason said: “We undertake a total of six home visits when someone’s been discharged from hospital. We have really enjoyed getting to know Mark and it’s great to know we’ve helped him on his road to recovery.

“Although our home visits have finished, Mark is on our radar now and he knows he can give us a call if he needs any more help and support in the future.”

Mark has been so impressed with the support he’s received that he’s now looking to give something back by becoming an Agewell befriender.

“I can’t praise the Sapphire Service enough,” he added. “I’ve always been fit, healthy and independent, but it was so good to have support from the Sapphire team in these circumstances. I honestly think it’s brilliant.”