Hartlepool man who suffered a stroke caused by clash of heads playing football hopes new trike will help him do charity work
Hartlepool man who was saved by his son when he suffered a stroke is hoping a new trike will enable him to help others.
Graeme Cadas’s life changed forever on Easter Monday in 2017. He woke up, made himself a cup of tea and went back into bed.
An hour later his son Jack, who was 15 at the time, found him sitting on the floor, looking confused – and called an ambulance for his father straight away.
Graeme, 49, had suffered a haemorrhagic stroke, which affected the left half of his brain.
He spent eight weeks in the university Hospital of North Tees in Stockton learning how to walk and talk again, but a weakness in the right side of his body remained and he is not able to pick up anything with his right hand or raise his foot.
Graeme has said that according to the doctors, the stroke was a result of a head clash during a football game two days earlier.
But he considers himself lucky, because he didn’t lose his speech, which is often the case with people who suffer this kind of stroke.
Graeme, who is originally from Hendon in Sunderland, but moved to Hartlepool 20 years ago, said: "I shouldn’t be able to speak at all. I was very lucky.
"My right arm doesn’t work very well. I can’t grip anything, my hand doesn’t work.”
Prior to the stroke, Graeme was a keen sportsman, playing football and running for charity.
He said: "I used to be obsessed with sport. I can’t do any sport anymore. I can’t run, I can just walk. I still work full time though.”
Despite no longer being able to play himself, sport has remained a big part of his life and Graeme is the manager of Hartlepool TECH – the team he used to play for before suffering the stroke.
"It’s a big thing for my mental well-being. It makes me feel very good,” he added.
Graeme, whose mother and sister live in Sunderland, used to also dedicate a lot of his time to helping charities before the stroke, raising almost £5,000 for the Denise Taylor cancer trust and Bradley Lowery by running up Ben Nevis twice in two days.
Speaking of his charity work, he said: "I used to love it, I used to do it all the time.”
And there is hope Graeme would once again be able to do what he loves most – exercising and helping others – thanks to a friend from school.
Mario Jaconelli went to St Aidan’s school in Sunderland with Graeme and started a JustGiving to help get him a trike.
Mario, who describes Graeme as a “keen fundraiser and sportsman”, said: “It shows it could happen to anybody; anybody who’s really fit, and eats well and looks after themselves.”
Graeme added: "My life was saved and I got another chance to live my life.
"I know it’s changed massively, but that’s the purpose now: just to live the best life that I can.
"Just enjoying life. Because I could’ve died that day if my son hadn’t saved me.
"Doctors said that I would definitely have died. Thank God he found me on the floor.
“He is a real life-saver.”
You can donate to the fundraiser by visiting JustGiving here.