Stroke survivor and BHRUT volunteer publishes book about her long road to recovery
- Credit: Archant
A former stroke patient who now volunteers to help others recover at King George Hospital has written a book about her recovery.
Louise Hulbert, from Chigwell, had just returned from three weeks enjoying the El Camino pilgrimage, a long distance walk from the south of France to northern Spain crossing the Pyrenees on the way, when she had a stroke in her home in 2014.
The 65-year-old retired PE teacher woke up on the floor in the middle of the night unable to move.
It was only when friends came looking for her the next morning that she was taken to Queen’s Hospital, run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT).
She needed to stay at the hospital for three months and a further month on a rehab ward to recover.
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Louise volunteers on the stroke rehab ward at the Goodmayes hospital, to give back for the great care she received, and has now decided to write a book about her experiences, which is due to be published on December 4.
The idea for the book, From Burgos to Bedroom Floor And Back Again, came after a throwaway comment during lockdown when someone told her she should turn her experiences into a book.
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Louise said: “It was never something I’d considered, however, I started one chapter and found I couldn’t stop.
“It was really therapeutic for me and I hope that it will encourage and inspire other stroke survivors that you can go on to have a good life after a stroke.”
In her volunteer role at the hospital she has helped with hand therapy sessions, as well as chatting with patients about her experiences and she also volunteers for Stroke Rehab Dogs.
She added: “I feel I’m in a good position to help. They’re often surprised I’m walking around, and that I drove myself there, when they hear I’ve had a stroke too.
“Like a lot of people, I’ve been left with lifelong effects following my stroke, my left side is very weak and I can’t play sports like I used to.
“But I feel I’ve had a good recovery and can live a normal life. I also find it does me good to see patients working hard in their recovery.”