Jason Hanrahan was just 17 when he had a haemorrhagic stroke, which left him with memory loss, severe depression and anxiety.
Jason was also treated for anorexia as he was unable to keep any food down and had to spend the next three months bedridden after being discharged from Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.
He is now supporting the Stroke Association’s ‘I am more than my stroke’ Christmas appeal after the charity helped him return to his passion for songwriting and creating music.
Jason, now aged 22, said: “I know first-hand that stroke can turn your life upside down in an instant and change it forever.
"My stroke left me with violent headaches and depression, which was devastating.
"I would just lash out at people for no reason and I remember being so angry and thinking: ‘Why did it have to happen to me, what happens now?’
"But despite what I’ve been through, the support I received from the Stroke Association made me feel that I am more than my stroke, I’m still me and I can still live my life.”
"After my stroke I wanted to ignore it and shut everyone out.
"I soon realised though that it starts with me, you have to talk about it or you will never be happy. The Stroke Association gave me the opportunity to volunteer at a music studio which was perfect as I have always written and produced my own music.
"This helped me regain my independence and take control of my life again, I still have bad days but I’m getting myself back to where I was.”
Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the UK, and over 80 per cent of stroke survivors require help with daily living such as walking, washing, eating and communicating.
The ‘I am more than my stroke’ Christmas appeal wants to raise money for the Stroke Association so that they can help more stroke survivors with their recovery.
Sara Betsworth, head of stroke support for the Stroke Association said: “For many stroke survivors, rebuilding their lives after stroke is a long and challenging process. Stroke not only presents physical challenges, but the way it suddenly changes people’s lives and their plans for their future can also cause feelings of depression, anxiety and despair which Jason has experienced. However, we have seen that with the right support many people can be helped to live fulfilling lives following their stroke.
“As the UK’s only charity dedicated to supporting those affected by stroke, we help to address the emotional, practical and physical needs of stroke survivors and their families so they can achieve the best possible quality of life. However, we aren’t yet able to reach everyone who needs our help and that’s why our Christmas Appeal, ‘I am more than my stroke’ is raising essential funds so that we can be there for more people like Jason.”
To find out more about the help and support the Stroke Association offers and to make a donation to its Christmas Appeal visit: stroke.org.uk/iammore