First Post

First post

Hello my name is Mark Scarrott and welcome to the Quick Shadow. I have created this website to try to help other stroke survivors in what can be a very stressful time for anyone.

The website is going to be very basic to start off with, I’ll concentrate on posts and eventually I would like to generate some video diaries on the blog, which I hope will help to reassure those who view the blog that the information in the blogs can benefit their lives.

First, of all, let me tell you about myself.

I had my stroke on 27 May 2012 in my garage, when I was 47, and it was singly the most shocking and horrifying experience of my life. The last thing I remember is telling my wife,

‘I can’t breathe.’

Then I fell to the floor. I don’t remember anything after that. I woke up in June, in Mount Gould Hospital in Plymouth in the rehab unit. I can’t really remember anything else at the time. I was in sort of a dislocated dream world. The memory is disjointed and vague at best with many situations which I still cannot make sense of.

The first thing and important thing that I would like to say to you is that you are not alone. I say that because there must be millions of people in Britain who have survived a stroke. I’m one of the lucky ones, I have a fantastic family and a strong circle of friends. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be alone. With that mind-set and the symptoms that you have with a stroke it is very difficult to motivate yourself. The feelings of desolation and the despair that you have every day can, without any warning, overwhelm you and leave you in a very cold and unhappy place.

The best way to combat these feelings is to talk to other people. I know that for some people this sounds crumbly and lame, especially if you are someone who has prized your solitude.

I run a small group called “Just my stroke.” We meet every Wednesday from 10:30 am to 12:30am. It’s a small group with 12 people at most and we sit around and drink tea and whinge. So if you are around my neck of the woods you are more than welcome to come and have a brew and a whinge. I will put the location and some contact numbers up at the end of the post.

Well, that’s it for my first post. Thank you for reading it. And because it’s that time of year please let me wish you a very merry Christmas. Cheers!

“Just my stroke” meet every Wednesday at the Discovery Café in the Methodist Hall, Cornwall Street, Plymouth at the top of the street, opposite M&S. 10:30am to 12:30 pm

Please call Mark on 01752 845848 or 07967 038876


Or if you are not in Plymouth you could try the Stroke Association on their helpline: 0303 3033 100.


Good Luck!

4 thoughts on “First Post

  1. God bless the NHS, I had to say something about these lovely people
    It took me just over four months to get home after my stroke. To say that I was just a ghost of my old self was an understatement. I know this because my son took a sly picture of me (photographs were forbidden in the ward). My head was so skinny that I could see the outline of my skull underneath my face. I still shudder when I see this image.
    On 28th May 2012 I suffered something that happens to thousands of people every year in the UK. A clot had worked its way up my leg and stopped my heart. When my heart started beating again, the pressure shattered the clot. All of these pieces got into my brain and I had six strokes simultaneously.
    At the time I was a 47 year old fit ex squaddie, who did not smoke or drink. I regularly cycled 10 miles a day to work and back, despite all this fate intervened. I do not remember anything about the stroke, all I know is that one minute I was talking to my beautiful wife and two weeks later woke at Mount Gould hospital, in Plymouth. In the next few months I had to learn to walk and speak again. In addition I needed to adapt with life with deafness, partial blindness and the complete power loss of my right arm. My mental agility was nearly non-existence; I was in a weird and really vivid reality. My brain, or what was left of it, was inserting some very intense hallucinations to fill in the gaps in my consciousness. I even saw a Tiger once, honestly I did, and it was sitting down watching me. Teeth, claws and stripes, everything. It was as real as the next person you will see in front of you. Then it turned around and padded silently up the ward before disappearing into nothingness.
    A friend said later that ‘something changed in my eyes’ when I started to understand what people were saying to me.
    The occupational therapists, Di and Laura taught me how to walk and eventually we went to Captain Jaspers on the Barbican for a ‘Jasperizer burger’; mucky but yummy. Pauline, the occupational therapist took me up and down stairs, to the café and to my home to see what adjustments had to be made in order to return.
    On 19th September I left Mount Gould to start my rehab. My golden retriever ‘Winston’ flung himself onto me like a hairy rug and grappled me to the floor. He put his front legs around my neck and hugged me for ages.
    Five years on, it is like a very bad dream. Although I still have the side effects of my stroke, I have still made a good recovery. I should acknowledge that my recovery is due to the hard dedication of the staff at Mount Gould Hospital who got me back on my feet again.

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