A MOTHER from Hook whose husband suffered a stroke four years ago has called for more support for victims of strokes and their families.

Becky Brookes, who lives in Hook, says that she felt overwhelmed when she left hospital after her husband Steve had a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

She has since had to leave her career behind to find a better-paying job, as well as leave her home to downsize.

This comes after latest figures show that one in five people have not accessed any form of support after a loved one suffered from a stroke.

The Stroke Association also found that of people who had been caring for more than three years, 40% feel exhausted and one in three felt stressed or anxious.

Talking about the day of the stroke, which she can still recall without thinking today, Becky said: “I was at work at the time and they couldn’t find me.

“The hospital had called through and when I eventually got on the phone I thought it was one of the boys.”

After telling her that it was her husband, the hospital staff told Becky that ‘he’s collapsed at work, he’s very sick and you need to come now and you need to not drive. We’re not actually sure he’ll survive.’

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Becky said. “One minute he’s sliding around the house in his socks and suit and tie and no trousers as you do.

“The next minute he’s completely grey in a coma, it was like a horror story.”

Although he has physically recovered, Steve now suffers from short-term memory loss, meaning he can’t hold down a job and is unable to help with things such as finances.

“Even within the short space of minutes, he could lose me.

“I might go upstairs and he’ll think I’ve gone out, he just forgets.

“So now it’s just up to me, which is tough.”

Becky says that when she left the hospital, she had very little advice about what to do next.

“You leave hospital having just had a stoke, can we not just get a pack that says ‘have you thought about this’?”

If you’ve been affected by stroke, you can find out about support available locally by visiting the Stroke Association’s website www.stroke.org.uk or calling the Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100.