Portrait: Duncan

11 years ago, I was a 38-year-old P.E. teacher and father of 2 young children when I collapsed in my bathroom early one morning while getting ready for work...

A little bit about Duncan 

I was informed in the hospital that I had survived a severe ischemic stroke which had left me with left-sided hemiplegia. At the time, I was told that I should be grateful if I ever manage to sit unaided,  and that I might struggle to walk, play sports or take part in new hobbies ever again.  

Seven weeks later, I walked out of the hospital unaided, albeit on rather wobbly legs. This was quite a big achievement for me given the initial prognosis given by the doctor.    

My support systems 

My main sources of support are my family & physiotherapist. I still have regular private physiotherapy and my therapist has become a close friend over these past years. Following the stroke my marriage ended. I now have a new partner and we have 2 young children together. This is probably my biggest success post-stroke.  I now have a full-time job working with young people with complex medical and learning needs. 

What was missing from my recovery 

I was given very little advice when I left the hospital and had to figure many things out for myself. I would urge people to ask questions as much as possible before being discharged. I have learned that with a lot of determination and positive thoughts, progress can be made.  I believe that surrounding yourself with people who are thinking positively about your recovery is vital, especially in the early weeks.  

A quote that helped me during recovery 

I believe that Michael Jordan once said that he could accept failure, but he couldn’t accept not trying. This is something which has spurred me on.

Advice to other survivors 

The recovery journey can be very lonely.  If you can speak with other people who are going through the same process this can be a good support and it can also lead to new friendships.

As echoed in Duncan’s words, many brain injury survivors have had to navigate life without medical support after leaving the hospital. This is something that we’re fighting for at SameYou and is a key part of our mission to change.  


Will you join hands with us today and help us support brain injury survivors like Duncan on their road to recovery? With your donation, we can ensure that nobody feels deserted in their times of need. 


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