Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

My name is Osarime, Osa for short. I remember it vividly. It was on a Friday and the phone rang, and it was Wolverhampton General Hospital. I remember the voice so well in my head now and it goes, "Are you Denden's mom?" I went, "Yes" And it goes, "Can you come to the hospital please?" "Where?" It goes, "Wolverhampton Hospital."

I suffered... Oh, no, no, no.

I had a stroke and a brain aneurysm. Yeah, yeah.

And he goes, "How soon can you get here?" It was very like, "Get here now or you will not meet him alive." And I go, "What is wrong?" He goes, "I am not allowed to tell you but make yourself available very quickly." So I then said to my husband... I was now in tears obviously and we started talking about... He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, he doesn't... I didn't quite understand why.

I was at the gym, yes. A final year student.

Anyway. When we got into the hospital, he was now in a cubicle. He was drifting in and out of consciousness. I didn't quite understand what was going on. Then my husband... My husband is a doctor so he goes, "What is happening?" And they went, "Aneurysm." It didn't make anything to me. I went, "Aneurysm?"

I was at the gym. Yeah, yeah. Three years ago, yeah.

I said, "What happened?" They said, "He was in the gym, he collapsed." And they said he screamed and the guy at the gym knew exactly what happened. So they got an ambulance so they knew straight away that he had a leakage in his brain. And that's how they brought him here.

One of the team's gym-goers, yeah, yeah. One of the... Hello? Hello? I remembered vividly... Vividly, yeah. Hello? Hello? Hello? Yeah, vi-vi-vi... Hello? We have... I called the ambulance. Yeah, yeah.

And they took us to the room and said, "He's in a bad state. They cannot touch him now. They will have to wait till the morning. That, if he survived until tomorrow morning, they will take him to the theatre to rectify things, to take the blood clot or whatever out. But if he doesn't... There is every likelihood that he's not going to make it until morning." So obviously, the strong prayers started.

That was all we had, we had nothing because it was off our hands now.

I was dreaming, yeah.

A ebola yeah. What?

Yeah. What's a... What's a cause of it? Yeah. Oh a stroke. What's that? What's that? Yeah, yeah. What's that? Yeah.

When I think it was my daughter said, "What is the prognosis?" And he goes, "To be fair, I shouldn't be saying this but I don't know. 50-50 if we are lucky." So they went in, they then rectified it... Then they said when they did the stem, he bled again. So obviously, he had a stroke and it was a massive one. They had to now put him in a coma for a long time so he can recover. I remember those days. We had dark days, very dark days but I had the support of my husband, and the children, and my sisters. Everyone was in hospital and all we could do was pray.

On the adverts, yeah. Check... FAST. Yeah, check.

Yeah, on the adverts. Half right. Yeah, yeah.

We would buy all these games to just make him start thinking again and we got four connects. He didn't know how to put the four connect things, those round things, in it. He was pushing it through the side. That was how the brain was gone. He had no recollection of anything. He could not think about anything. He recognised us, that was really strange and nothing apart from that. You have to tell him, and show him, and keep showing him. And that was when they said, "Again, you keep doing, you learn by... " He's like a child trying to learn again. And that was what we did. Then I had to then accept to say, "You know what? This is ABC time again." And the kids were just fantastic. Everyone started to help him too like, start from "What is this?" "A." "What is this?" "B." And gradually, we started walking away.

Yeah. Adapted hand-rails, high chair... High chair, adapted, one-handed, cooking lots of things. Yeah.

Luckily we got a referral again to Banstead which was another good place for him to be. But after Banstead, obviously, there comes a point in time where you have to accept that this is what you have got, and you have got to make do with what you have got, and we were then discharged home to the community. That's another thing, there was another step of support rather than just being at home doing nothing. And then that's when all the Stroke Association came in. We were with Sana agencies, making sure that you're getting all the right support that is needed for him. So I had to fight. I'm not going to lie, I fought for every single thing that he got. From rehab to physio because I knew he needed a lot of physio and speech therapy. As you can see, his speech is still... We had to pay for some... If you have to, you have to. We had to pay for some private tuition. We have to pay for some, whatever it took for him to get a little bit be better, we did.

Driving, yeah. Can not do it. Yeah.

You used... I used to think stroke was for elderly people. End of life if you know... Not end of life, if you not... Older people, people that didn't look after themselves very well, people that were probably supposed to be on medication that didn't take it, maybe they had high blood pressure or they had... They were not taking their statin for cholesterol. You know, things like that. And when it happened suddenly, you go, "Oh God, does it really happen suddenly?" But for the first time, I think especially happening to a 19-year-old child, you just go, "What happened here?" You know you now pay more attention, you now find out things and go, "It can happen to anyone." I think the first-hand experience has taught us to look more into our way of lives, and what... It can happen. It does... And again if you're on medication, try and take your medication always. For someone like him, there was no... Nothing, nothing prepared us for this at all. This is a life changer. It is a big, big life changer.

I'd... Sponsored walks, yeah. I got a gold. A medal. I got a medal, yeah.

But when I see him progressing every single day, I just thank god that he's still alive and he knows when to go to the toilet because at one point he didn't know when. He knows when to eat, when he's full. We try like you said just now, we try healthy living for him because he used to be a very fit and healthy... He was the fittest out of all of us. So I still make sure that the food he eats is well calculated that he doesn't have too much calories because he cannot burn them off. There's no way of him burning it off. So he's very good to our calculating it, to make sure.

The way I feel, I feel cheated. I'm not going to lie because I... I'm still happy I've got my son, but this wasn't what I expected in life for him. I thought my son would be one of those... Maybe, director one day because that was him. He wanted to do things. He went into computing, he did design, he was writing games, even at uni already. So in my head, "Oh, this... My son is going to be really a big boy one day." But I still believe it, it will happen, it's just a question of time. But he's alive, so I'm grateful to God and that's really where we are.