Rodney wants stroke stars honoured

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Rodney Hamilton, from Banbridge wants local stroke survivors, carers and health care professionals to enter the Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards.

Nominations for the awards are open to stroke survivors, carers, volunteers, fundraisers and professionals.

Rodney himself won the Creative Arts Award in 2016 at the Northern Ireland Life after Stroke Awards.

Rodney, had a stroke in December 2004, aged just 47 years old.

As a result Rodney developed aphasia – a devastating communication disability – which affected his speech.

His right hand was hand was also affected making it difficult to do daily tasks. However, Rodney taught himself to draw and paint using his non dominant hand, using art to aid his recovery post stroke.

Rodney attended STAR (Speech Theatre, Art & Role Play) – an innovative group run by the Stroke Association in Belfast.

The group supports stroke survivors to use art, drama and creativity to boost their communication skills and support their recovery.

Speaking after winning the award Rodney said: “I am so happy and surprised that I have won this award. I enjoy painting so much not only for me but for the pleasure my work brings to other people. I would encourage everyone to nominate their stroke hero for a Life after Stroke Award.”

There are 34,000 stroke survivors in Northern Ireland and each year an estimated 4000 people have a stroke.

The Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards celebrate the courage and dedication shown by stroke survivors, carers, volunteers and healthcare professionals who overcome the extra challenges that a stroke brings.

A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 4000 strokes in Northern Ireland every year and it is a leading cause of disability.

The categories you can nominate for are: Courage Awards, Award for Volunteering, Carer’s Award, Award for Creative Arts, Stroke Group Award, Professional Excellence Award, Fundraiser of the Year Award, Special Recognition Award

For more information on the Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards visit www.stroke.org.uk/lasa.