A BROMSGROVE fitness fanatic has been telling the story of how a stroke left him paralysed down the left side of his body rocking his life.
Peter Rumbold spoke out as the latest statistics from Stroke Association revealed the number of men between 40 and 54 years old affected by stroke had risen almost 50 per cent in less than 15 years.
Pete, who is now 52, had his major stroke in November 2011, whilst he was training at the gym. It left him unable to speak, see or swallow and doctors said there was little chance of recovery.
Before his stroke, Pete was a keen bodybuilder and a competitive racketball and footballer player who used to go to the gym six days a week whilst also working as a driving instructor.
He said: “I was housebound for four months that’s when I decided there was a massive gap in the stroke care pathway and I wanted to help other stroke survivors recover.”
Figures show in 2007 there were more than 500 hospital admissions for stroke survivors in the West Midlands in that age category. This figure soared to 675 in 2014, increasing by 29 per cent.
The number of women, between 40 and 54, has also risen in the last eight years – dramatically increasing by 42 per cent – from 391 in 2007 to 557 in 2014.
Overall, the number of people suffering strokes at a working age, between 20 and 64 years old, has risen by 16 per cent in the same period.
It is thought much of the rise is down to an increase in sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles, and changes in hospital admission practice.
The Stroke Association is also warning the rise could mean more people would be heavily impacted financially.
It could affect people returning to work and increase household bills and people may have to rely on the benefits system, which does not recognise the full impact of stroke.
Jon Barrick, the Stroke Association’s chief executive, said: “These figures show stroke can no longer be seen as a disease of older people.
“We must do more to raise people’s awareness of risk factors, to help prevent them from having a stroke.”
Pete said he decided to become a stroke rehabilitation fitness instructor and incorporate aspects of his life before his stroke with his life now, which many could not do.
He added after speaking with Dr Tom Balchin, the ARNI Institute’s head, and a fellow stroke survivor he realised he wanted to work with stroke survivors and help with their recovery through the ARNI.
He is now helping to run an ARNI training program at Altered Images Physio Clinic and Gym in Bromsgrove.
“This has changed my life from an extremely negative situation into an extremely positive one,” Pete said.
“The ARNI Institute gave me hope for the future and now I’m giving stroke survivors the same.”