Stroke Survivor: A Personal Guide to Recovery
At the age of 37, Andy McCann was physically fit, strong and in good health. Then, mid-way through instructing his weekly martial arts class, he experienced a stroke and was rushed to hospital.
Until then, the word 'stroke' had meant little to Andy, and in this book he recounts the many difficulties in learning to live with his new situation. Funny, poignant and informative, the book is not just a personal story, but also offers a wealth of advice and information for anyone who wants to know more about strokes.
He explores a broad range of issues experienced by stroke survivors, from the very practical considerations of managing financial security and understanding medical approaches and terminology to the more personal challenges of coming to terms with a new sense of vulnerability and dealing with the attitudes of friends and family.
The common thread throughout is Andy's insistence that he will not be a 'stroke victim' but a 'stroke survivor', determined to live with his new set of circumstances in a positive way.
This book is a compelling yet practical source of information that will be valued by professionals and patients alike - whether a fellow stroke survivor, a concerned family member or a health or social care professional working with stroke victims.
Having read previously Robert McCrumb's book 'My Year Off', following my father's eventual death after a series of strokes, I found Andy's book to be inspirational for one main reason : he gives a wholly different perspective to the blight of stroke.
The title of the book says it all really - how can anyone fail to be uplifted by the sheer positive attitude shown by Andy in his bid to 'defeat' the problem ; to take it by the scruff and deal with it constructively. He allures in the book to people who, for whatever reason, have suffered strokes but cannot see themselves as anything but victims.
By showing his determination to be survivor, Andy, far from intending to show distain for those to those particular sufferers, is sending out a message to us all that this beast can be beaten. His whole approach to the problem is not meant to be insensitive to those unfortunate to have suffered badly but rather to be inspirational to those of us who have yet to encounter this illness or who are currently in the throes of recovery.
Andy McCann - stroke survivor indeed and an example for us all to follow.