Warnings over stroke rise

Stroke survivor: Alistair Morley, 37, has now returned to his high-pressure job.
Stroke survivor: Alistair Morley, 37, has now returned to his high-pressure job.
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Numbers of strokes in middle-aged men in Yorkshire have rocketed by a fifth in eight years, campaigners warn today.

The Stroke Association said there were 600 stroke admissions to hospital among men aged 40-54 in the region in 2014 - up from 500 in 2006. Numbers among women aged 20-64 increased by 15 per cent to more than 400 over the period.

The charity’s regional head of operations, Julia MacLeod, said the increase was “alarming”.

She said: “These figures show that stroke can no longer be seen as a disease of older people. This comes at a huge cost, not only to the individual, but also to their families and to health and social care services.”

Commercial litigation lawyer Alastair Morley, 37, of Leeds, suffered a stroke on New Year’s Day 2012. He said: “As a young, fit man, I never thought, in a million years, that someone my age could have a stroke.”

Following surgery and recovery, he completed a phased return to his high-pressure job. “It’s really important for employers to know what they can do to break down the barriers that prevent some stroke survivors from returning to the workplace,” he said.

Mother-of-one Gemma McKeating, 31, also of Leeds, survived her second stroke in May 2013 just three weeks after launching her own fashion business, leaving her unable to talk and with limited movement on her left side. Despite its impact, she regained her speech and taught herself how to sew using only one side of her body. She returned to full time work in September. “It’s been a long road to recovery and I still have weakness in my left side, but I’m proof that there is a life after stroke,” she said.