Hi, my name is Michael Smithers.
I had a stroke in 2007 aged 54 years. I sustained left sided paralysis and underwent lengthy rehabilitation in the South Infirmary Hospital in Cork and the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dublin. I was initially told that I would never walk again however now with the aid of a walking stick, I get around independently. The function in my left hand is limited but I manage to do most things myself now. The initial adjustment was difficult and I felt alone and abandoned when I was discharged from hospital. I tried to make contact with other stroke survivors through facebook.
In November 2010 I joined many others at the launch of the Cork Stroke Support Group and was surprised to see the large number of attendees who were affected by stroke. I was also encouraged by the healthcare professionals who had given up their time to support us.
In January 2011 I joined the Cork Stroke Support Group and I have been active on the CSSG Committee attending National forums to lobby politicians for improved services.
As a stroke survivor myself, I understand the benefits of stroke support groups and the importance of sharing information. I use the Cork Stroke Support Group facebook page to post useful links on stroke recovery aids and assistive devices which I hope helps others.
I have regained independence and try to focus on my abilities and keep healthy through regular gym sessions. I miss playing my guitar and other activities which requires the use of 2 hands. I try to maintain a positive outlook, I’ve got my voice which I use regularly and I am still good for a song!