Former bowls club president inspires campaign to help stroke victims

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A FORMER bowls club president was the inspiration for a fundraising campaign to help people who have had a stroke.

Members of the Hartlepool Indoor Bowls Club have raised funds for stroke services, which are based at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

The whole fundraising project was carried out in memory of one of the Hartlepool Indoor Bowls Club former presidents.

It was 11 years ago when Sandra Hindmarch rushed husband Charlie to the University Hospital of Hartlepool after he suffered a sudden stroke.

Following the stroke, Charlie spent 22 days in the unit before he sadly passed away.

Sandra, who is 66, is the current club president. She said: “It was a huge shock to me and to everyone who knew Charlie.

“We hadn’t been married long, and we had so much to look forward to.

“He was only 59, in good health and it was totally unexpected. It still gets me very upset now thinking about it.”

But Sandra has nothing but fond praise for the hospital team whose intervention meant her husband lived longer than expected.

She said: “When he was taken to Hartlepool hospital we were told he wouldn’t survive longer than 48 hours.”

But thanks to the trust staff, he survived for much longer. Sandra explained: “He actually went on to be in there for 22 days, receiving treatment.

“We were so pleased with the care he received while he was in the unit – I wanted to do something to show my thanks to them.”

Every year the Hartlepool Indoor Bowls Club holds a raffle and bowls competition.

And each year, the events help towards the donation of funds to a chosen charity. This year the event helped raise £433 for the stroke services unit, based at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

Sandra added: “This money will go towards improving the care for patients who have suffered a stroke. That really helps me feel as if we have made a difference.

“I would like to thank all of the people who helped us raise this money.”

Consultant geriatrician Helen Skinner said: “We would like to thank Sandra and everyone at the club who helped raise these funds for stroke services at the trust.”

She said the money would help to support services for people who have had a stroke.

“This will be used in buying an iPad with applications for speech and language therapy to increase the amount of speech and language therapy that patients receive.”