Newry stroke survivor calls on people to ‘Give a Hand’

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info@newrytimes.com
Monday, October 12th, 2015
Community, News, What's On
Newry resident Anna Corr McCracken, who had a stroke on the day after her 32nd birthday, is challenging people across Newry to ‘Give a Hand’ to the Stroke Association.
Raymond, Kate and Anna

Raymond, Kate and Anna

The charity’s fundraising initiative ‘Give a Hand’ will see people across Northern Ireland complete an everyday activity using the hand they wouldn’t normally use from 26th October to 1st November 2015. Speaking to Newry Times, Anna said, “I had my stroke in 2002 when I was on holiday in Canada. Luckily, the friends I was on holiday with were experienced nurses and knew something wasn’t right. “I was intensive care for four days and spent a further nine days in a stroke ward. Two weeks after my stroke I was able to come back to Northern Ireland and was admitted to Belfast City Hospital for four weeks on the stroke award. “When I was discharged from hospital,” she explained, “I was only 8 weeks post stroke. I was alone again and felt a lot of fear and confusion. I didn’t have any support, apart from my friends and family – neither was I in any state to fight for support. It wasn’t until several years after her stroke that Anna found the Stroke Association through a relative. “My life took off – they introduced me to their communication support groups and helped me with a whole host of administration! “Since then – I have climbed to Everest base camp with my Dad, my husband Geoff has taught me to swim, I’ve walked marathons and I’ve continued to thrive as a valuable member of society. “I am also a volunteer for the Stroke Association. They are the reason for my vast improvement. I cannot thank them enough. My future is bright because I choose to be happy,” she added. By getting involved with ‘Give a Hand,’ hopefully many more people will able to help change the world for stroke survivors. The vital funds raised for the Stroke Association will support people like Anna who are on the road to recovery. Paul Montgomery, Northern Ireland Fundraising Manager for the Stroke Association said, “A stroke strikes in an instant but its effects can last a lifetime. Three quarters of stroke survivors lose the use of one of their hands. “Often people affected by stroke have to re-learn to do the things they’ve always done – using their other hand. The Stroke Association supports people through this rehabilitation. Paul adds, “We’re calling on people to ‘Give a Hand’ this October and raise funds by completing a task, or several, using their ‘other’ hand. By taking part and raising funds for the Stroke Association, we can help more people like Anna to conquer stroke.” To find out more about ‘Give a Hand,’ please visit www.stroke.org.uk/giveahand to download or request a fundraising pack. For more information about stroke call the helpline on 0303 3033 100. The Stroke Association provides two communication support groups in Newry each week. The details of them are included below. If you would like to attend or volunteer at one of the groups please contact the Belfast office on 028 9050 8020 or by emailing ni@stroke.org.uk. Stage 2 Newry Wednesday 11.00-1.00pm Sean Holywood Arts Centre 1a Bank Parade Newry BT35 6HP Stage 3 Newry Tuesday 2.00-4.00 McManus Court Arthur St, Newry BT34 1LL

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