Mum who had a stroke aged just 26 joins calls for greater carer support

Donna King had just given birth to baby girl Millie Alice before her stroke, and was afterwards supported by partner Nicky.
Donna King had just given birth to baby girl Millie Alice before her stroke, and was afterwards supported by partner Nicky.

A young mum who suffered a huge stroke three years ago has joined calls for carers of those affected by the condition to be given more support.

Donna King, 29, was left paralysed down the right side of her body following a stroke in February 2013, which was just five months after giving birth to her first baby girl, Millie Alice.

Donna and Nicky King on their wedding day.

Donna and Nicky King on their wedding day.

New figures released by the Stroke Association today revealed that over two fifths of carers of people affected by strokes in the North East are potentially going without vital support and benefits.

Those figures have led Donna, from Peterlee, to call for more support to be given, and she has urged people to sign a petition set up by the Stroke Association calling on the Government to commit to a new national stroke strategy.

After the stroke, she had lost her ability to swallow, her speech and her hearing, while her vision was severely affected.

Against doctor’s expectations, though, she walked out of hospital with a walking stick just three months later, and last July, she walked down the aisle unaided as she married Nicky King in the Lake District.

I would encourage everyone to sign the petition, to ensure other carers receive the same level of support regardless of postcode

Donna King

Nicky had cared for Donna after her stroke, and she said they were well-supported once she was discharged from hospital.

She said: “We had a positive experience in terms of support and were visited by the Community Stroke Team four days a week, before I received physiotherapy and occupational therapy for three years.

“I know we were very lucky because of where we live, but I regularly speak to other people who live in different areas who received nowhere near the same level of support.

“I would encourage everyone to sign the petition, to ensure other carers receive the same level of support regardless of postcode.”

The Stroke Association’s latest survey of over 1,100 stroke survivors, carers and professionals has found that over two fifths (46%) of carers for people affected by stroke living in the North East did not receive a carer’s assessment, which provides access to practical, emotional and financial support.

Around a fifth (23%) of carers for people affected by stroke living in the North East also told the charity that they did not feel prepared when the person they cared for was discharged from hospital.

The Stroke Association’s latest campaign is called ‘A New Era for Stroke’, while the current 10-year National Stroke Strategy ends in 2017.

To add your name to the petition, visit www.stroke.org.uk/petition.