Stroke patient raises £1,300 to say thank you following amazing recovery

A BRADFORD Royal Infirmary (BRI) stroke patient who made a remarkable recovery has said ‘thank you’ by raising an amazing £1,300 for our Therapy Unit.

Father-of-two Phil Smith, 48, a professional driver with the Dalesman Group and barman, hosted a fundraising evening at Clayton Liberal Club with his wife, Angela, to raise funds for future patients at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Smith was changing a barrel at the club on November 17, 2018 when he lost the feeling in and control of his hands.

After being rushed to BRI, he was found to have suffered a serious stroke with a 4cm bleed on his brain which left him in a wheelchair with a lack of movement down his left-hand side.

Mr Smith also had a very high systolic blood pressure of 288, which meant the Therapy team couldn’t review him in the first few days.

However, thanks to his determination and our talented rehabilitation and nursing teams, he made rapid progress, eventually being discharged into the care of our community-based Early Supportive Discharge team on December 18.

Amazingly, just ten months on, the Queensbury resident is back working in the office with the Dalesman Group, driving and pulling pints at the Lib Club!


He said: “I remember everything on the night until I got to the hospital – there were no warning signs at all. I couldn’t control my hands and was pulling beer everywhere.

“I was left in a wheelchair. It was a hard time but the therapists on the ward and in the neuro-community teams have been absolutely superb and have had a huge impact.

“If it wasn’t for them I would have given up. They just give you that drive to do really well.

“I am now back walking and have not used the wheelchair since August. I am still weak on my left-hand side and have no feeling in my fingers and toes but I am coping.

“I’m back at work, too, and after Christmas I’m going back full time. We just wanted to raise some money to say thank you. Having my independence back has made a massive difference.”

Angela Smith, steward at Clayton Liberal Club, said: “We had a great night fundraising, raising a total of £1,295 in the end. We’ll always be grateful to the Stroke Unit and Therapy teams – everyone was amazing.”

Mr Smith also singled out two of the Trust’s occupational therapists for special praise Laura Stubbs and Lorna Smith.

Rebecca Quayle, Stroke and Neurology Physiotherapist and Team Leader, said:  “Mr Smith was in hospital for a long time. When he first arrived he couldn’t walk or move his arm or leg on his left-hand side.

Exceptional progress

“With the help and guidance of the full multidisciplinary team including nurses, healthcare assistants, and rehabilitation support workers alongside his therapists, he made exceptional progress.

“To help his recovery, he had regular therapy, which included physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and exercise groups. We worked with him for six weeks in total and then he was in the hands of our Early Support Discharge team, who worked with him at his home within 72 hours of his discharge.

“He was very motivated. To get back to driving and pulling pints is very good!”

The Therapy team plan to use the money raised by the Smiths to put together upper limb activity kits, allowing our stroke patients to exercise in their own time on the stroke unit.

Physiotherapist Suzy Taylor said: “People are usually on the stroke ward for about six weeks and patients have an hour of therapy a day – but there are a lot more hours to fill. We want patients to feel they are part of the rehab process and can make an impact on their own recovery.

“The kits will allow patients to continue therapy on their own, increasing the intensity of their rehabilitation.”

Physiotherapy Team Leader, Rebecca Quayle, added: “With the money Mr Smith and his wife have raised we will be able to buy 10 upper limb exercise kits which will be full of tools, games and activities. It’s lovely that they thought about the Therapy team.”

PICTURE CAPTION: Phil and Angela Smith with Physiotherapist Suzy Taylor and Stroke and Neurology Physiotherapist and Team Leader Rebecca Quayle (right)



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Note to Editors:

  1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.

In early 2017, a new £28 million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period. It provides world-class facilities for elderly care, children’s services, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with increased single-room provision and a retail concourse.

The new wing is a continuation of our work to improve patient experience after our new £2 million neonatal unit officially opened in January 2015. Our maternity services were recently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Midwifery Service of the Year Award, recognising excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care.

In 2017, we also completed a £2m refurbishment of our Emergency Department (ED) as part of an ambitious vision to create a more efficient acute medicine service for the people of Bradford. It has been designed to provide a slicker and more efficient service, with faster senior clinical involvement at an early stage in the patient pathway.

As a teaching hospital, we are at the forefront of education and development in healthcare, and have an excellent reputation for research performance. We are one of the leading centres in conducting applied research in the country, particularly in quality and safety, elderly care and rehabilitation.

The Trust is home to the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) where researchers have led the development, validation and implementation of the award-winning Bradford Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) which helps calculate an elderly person’s risk of disability, impairment, falls and complications of chronic diseases, as well as their diminishing independence and capability. This is now being used by 98 per cent of all GPs across the country.

Our award-winning Ophthalmology department is home to numerous worldwide clinical trials taking the lead in eye care research and we are one of only three sites in the United Kingdom to be enlisted in the Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Hip Fracture Care of Patients with Dementia (PERFECTED) study, which will investigate how the NHS can introduce better standards of care to improve outcomes for people with dementia.

The Trust has its own Bradford Hospitals Charity: