A PENSIONER has been battling her way back to health after suffering a stroke.

Patricia Lilly, from Burgess Hill, was left with memory and concentration problems after falling ill at her hairdressers.

The 75-year-old also suffered weakness on the right side of the body and she and her husband Donald were left struggling to cope.

Mrs Lilly was helped by the charity the Stroke Association, which has recently launched a service to support patients across West Sussex.

The Six Month Review scheme is funded by Horsham and Mid Sussex and Crawley clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and is expected to help more than 200 stroke survivors each year.

As part of the service, a team of three Stroke Association co- ordinators will work with survivors and their families and carers.

They will provide vital information, emotional support and practical advice in the six months after someone has had a stroke.

Mrs Lilly is one of the patients to benefit from the association’s help.

She said: “I really don’t think I could have got to where I am today without the association.

“They were extremely helpful and supportive after I had my stroke.

“Having a stroke is completely frightening and that’s why getting the right support is vital.

“I couldn’t understand why simple tasks like writing a cheque or remembering a word suddenly felt impossible.

“The association guided me through the effects of my stroke, made me understand what was happening and gave me the best support to help me live my life afterwards.”

Tara Galloway, interim lead for the charity in the South East coastal area, said: “Stroke has a massive and sudden impact.

“People’s lives are changed for ever – not just for the stroke survivor but for their family and friends as well.

“Our new Six Month Review service in West Sussex will help people affected by stroke to rebuild their lives.

“Being able to return to work, live independently and take control of your life again after a stroke are all vitally important steps on the road to recovery for survivors.

“We look forward to working together with the two CCGs recover from the devastating impact of stroke.”

For more information about the review service contact Ms Galloway on tara.galloway@stroke.org.uk or 01622 351966.