Member of Phoenix Stroke Club receives regional recognition

Jill Wakeman

Jill Wakeman, a member of the Phoenix Stroke Club, has received a Highly Commended Life After Stroke Award from the Stroke Association in recognition of her courage and determination.

Mother of three, Jill Wakeman had a life-changing stroke in July 2013 which left her unable to talk or move the right side of her body.

At the time of her stroke, Jill was training for a half marathon. One afternoon after running, Jill struggled to hold the hair dryer in her right hand. Noticing that something wasn’t right, Jill’s partner John then noticed that one side of Jill’s face had dropped and quickly dialed 999.

Jill spent ten weeks in hospital recovering from her stroke. The stroke left her unable to use the right side of her body, and she was only able to say the word ‘no’.

Incredibly in 2015, Jill successfully ran the Brighton Half Marathon and in 2016 she completed the Virgin London Marathon, raising £2,367 for the Phoenix Stroke Club.

Jill was nominated for the Adult Courage Award by Sarah Boult, a volunteer at the Phoenix Stroke Club. Sarah said: “Life has changed completely for Jill, yet despite all the challenges she has faced, her incredibly positive attitude and sheer determination to regain her mobility and speech has always shone through. She has a great sense of humour and has shown such courage and bravery in making the best of her situation, while also sharing her experiences to help others. She is a true inspiration and makes a great impression on everyone she meets.”

Jill said: “Although my life has changed dramatically, I have lots of support from my partner and children. I’m over the moon to have been nominated for a Life After Stroke Award by Sarah and the Phoenix Stroke Club, it was a really lovely surprise.”

Jill received her Highly Commended certificate at a celebratory event at the Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Centre in Maidstone on Wednesday 28 September 2016. Her certificate was presented by the Mayor of Maidstone, Councillor Derek Butler.

Sandra Field, Head of Operations for the Stroke Association in the South East, said: “A stroke happens in an instant and often changes lives forever. We were thrilled that so many of our community in the South East Coast were nominated to receive a Life After Stroke Award. Our regional event highlights the tremendous courage local people like Jill have shown in rebuilding their lives after a stroke, or in helping others to do the same.”

The Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards recognise the courage shown by stroke survivors and carers as well as the great work and commitment shown by health professionals, groups and supporter organisations.