accessibility & help

‘Having support at home was such a help’

After a stroke landed him in hospital for ten months, Randolph wasn’t ready to face the world again – until we lent a hand.

Randolph Yarde was in the middle of just another day at work when he experienced a strange sensation that felt badly wrong.

He recalled: “My voice started slurring and I felt weak on the left side, so knew something was happening.”

It turned out the accountant had suffered a bleed on the right side of his brain, and he was rushed to hospital.

When he was finally discharged almost a year later, the world suddenly looked like a forbidding place.

Back on his feet

Randolph was still feeling very weak. Working was out of the question. And after so long in hospital, he was overawed by the pace and demands of everyday life.

Even worse, his post-stroke mobility problems meant his former home was no longer practical. He’d have to find a new place.

Sadly, moving home also turned out to be a pretty dispiriting affair. Randolph, from Surrey, recalled: “All my new place contained was a bed and a wardrobe. I was feeling quite low.”

But his luck was about to change. When the British Red Cross’ support at home service heard about his plight, they got in touch to see if he needed a hand.

Soon, support worker Michelle Lawson was heading for Randolph’s home, determined to help him get back on his feet and independent again.

‘Help and kindness’

Randolph recalled: “I remember there was a knock at the door and then Michelle was standing there, smiling and holding a nice, big bag of food.”

Things quickly got even better: “When she saw my empty home, Michelle just asked for a list of all the things I needed and said: ‘No problem’. I honestly thought she was joking, but within two weeks she’d organised everything.”

Over the next few weeks, Michelle called round regularly and helped out with countless tasks. She also put Randolph in touch with his local Stroke Association group. All these steps put him on the road to becoming more independent again.

The 53-year-old said: “In those early days, the Red Cross was the link between me and the outside world. Without Michelle’s help and kindness, I’d never have been able to recuperate so easily.”

‘Over the moon’

Our support worker also did something else that may sound trifling, but actually had a huge impact – she helped Randolph make his first shopping trip.

Michelle explained: “When someone’s been in hospital for such a long time, helping them do a simple thing – such as go out for their own groceries – becomes a really big deal. It shows them that life does go on.”

She added: “Randolph was over the moon after his shopping trip. And that was the point. If he’d just been left at home with other people doing everything for him, he wouldn’t be so independent now.”

Looking back, Michelle is really proud of Randolph’s progress. She said: “He’s beginning to have more of a life now, and our support gave him the fight to do it.”

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