I had my stroke following the clipping of an aneurism in 2007 and felt useless afterwards. I was moved to my lovely bungalow in Hitchin but knew nobody at all and after a while I became lonely frustrated and unable to do much or go anywhere. When my situation became frightening I turned to the Mental Health Services and had daily visits and eventually joined classes for Occupational Therapy where I heard about a new group that had started called Lifegeta, I was very wary of joining a group as laughing and chatting were what I really wanted and missed, not mulling over my worries but as it was near I decided to give it a try.
As soon as I walked in the door I felt at home, everyone is so friendly and easy to talk to and I didn't have to talk about my illness until I felt I wanted to. I've made lots of friends now and been to places I would never have known about with people who understand how I feel. The wonderful thing about Lifegeta is it's run by Sue who knows about the difficulties that we all face and helped by others who are going through similar things and everybody pulls together and share knowledge and tips. We're like one big family.
Dawn & Paul Searle
Hi I am Dawn Searle. I joined Lifegeta over 5 years ago, due to my husband having a stroke at the age of 40 years old. Family is very important to me, we have two children who at the time were 7 and 11. It didn't just affect my husband as he was left with no sensation on his right side and a few other problems; it changed our whole life style. We had a successful business and our life changed overnight. For many years after the stroke we coped but no one could help us emotionally. We were struggling. Then I read in the local paper that Sue was doing a workshop to help people like my husband cope with life changing circumstances, to be positive and meet new friends in similar positions to ourselves. I was inspired by Sue Ross and the sheer determination & empathy for helping others, after everything she has been through herself. She is an amazing woman, now a best friend. She makes me laugh and is full of fun and spirit. I wanted to help give back, so I volunteered to become a committee member for Lifegeta. The support group meets once a month and I have met some amazing friends; it's more like a family, there are talks by different people to help in all situations of life from healthy eating, positive thinking, security, outings. Etc.
I learnt about Lifegeta through Sue Ross, I have a hidden disability dyslexia and perception eye disability for which I wear green glasses. Lifegeta is an amazing support group which I can feel safe and confident to talk about my disabilities and how it has impacted on my life. This group is so supportive and safe for sharing with empathy and understanding. I hope that my skills and understanding in holistic therapies and link to our well-being allows me to offer support to members .