Geoff's progress so far has been simply astounding. He has some speech which is improving every day as is his understanding...... sometimes! He can play games, he can draw, he can sing, he can feed himself and most importantly, he can say 'I love you'. The three little words that are thrown around so much but not always with real meaning. Our road ahead is a majorly long one and one we never dreamed we would travel as this wasn't how our lives were 'meant to be'. Geoff and I have only been together for 11 years and married for 9. He truly is my soulmate and my best friend and the most wonderful Dad to our 3 children.......the man I had been searching for all my life.
The reason we wanted to set up this 'go fund me' page for Geoff was that now reality has set in and we have gone from 'this isn't how our lives are meant to be' to 'this is how are lives are going to be', we have finally come to the realisation that Geoff and our family are going to need all the support we can get, not just emotionally and practically but also financially. We are extremely proud people who have both worked full time all our lives and it would break Geoff's heart knowing we had to do this, as it does ours but the true fact is that without this financial support, Geoff would not have access to the many things that he will need in the future. As a result of his stroke, Geoff has been left with severe deficits, albeit he is surpassing anything the doctors thought he would be capable of. He can now walk with the aid of support from a physio and the feeling is slowly returning in his right arm. His more major deficits are his speech and language; his understanding and ability to communicate above anything that is 'inbuilt' in the brain is very impaired (dysphasia). His brain damage is extensive but despite this, he continues to battle and make himself and his family proud every day. The first 6 months after a stroke is where survivors and their families see the most progress and thankfully, Geoff has been given the NHS neurological rehabilitation opportunity early on which has supported his progress so far, as have we as a family.
As many of you know who may have been unfortunate enough to have travelled or still travelling our road (god bless you all), there is not much on offer beyond this in-patient rehabiliation and it is widely known, although not often believed, that survivors 'reach a plateau' after two years. Geoff, like you all, deserves to not just be a statistic and more needs to be done to highlight the importance of long term continued recovery after in-patient rehabilitation...... this will be my next mission! Many people have messaged us to highlight the need to keep pushing for help once Geoff is away from in-patient rehabilitation and back with us at home, however with only short term NHS rehabilitation in the home being offered, it is unlikely that Geoff will be anywhere near reaching his maximum potential without additional support. With the right help, both practical and financial he can continue to improve way beyond this time period which is why we need to now start thinking about raising much needed funds to support him to achieve this so that he can have access to services that are very sadly, not offered on the NHS. As amazing as the NHS are, we know all too well, they are in crisis and the funding is simply not there to offer anything long term which is what Geoff will need.
We all breeze through life, thinking we are invincible, me included and it's not until something devastating happens to you that you realise how much you are 'on your own', that is until I set up Geoff's journey (or army as I now call them!). We truly love you all and cannot begin to thank you all enough. Also, to our friends who have been there when we needed them the most...........we feel truly blessed. They say money can't buy happiness and Geoff and I never needed it to have the kind of relationship that we had because money can't buy that. However, what it can buy is security.......security for his future in order for him to achieve his maximum recovery potential to hopefully become the man he once was. The law of averages says that Geoff shouldn't still be with us, but we thank our lucky stars every single minute of every day that he is. He has fought for his life and now he is fighting for his and his family's future.
We would be so eternally grateful for any amount of money or support received so that Geoff can become 'this man' again. He is a light in my darkness and my inspiration for everything I do. I promised the life saving team at Queens that one day, we will take Geoff back and he WILL walk through those doors, stick or no stick because we owe him that for everything he has given me and our family. We feel as though we have gained an extended family over night and we have visions of each and every one of them standing there cheering him on as he takes his first steps.......Let's make this happen!!! In the mean time we thank you all in advance for any help you can offer and let's all give a #thumbsupforgeoff #geoffsarmy
Thank you and god bless you all x
- Sheila Hill
- Shirley Shannon
- Jacqueline Davies
- Christine Montgomerie
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