Nearly a quarter of Scots stroke survivors say becoming unwell cost them their job with some even losing their home, a study found.

The practical, emotional and physical impact of having a stroke has been laid bare by a new survey of more than 3,500  survivors across the UK.

In Scotland, 23% of those who took part in the study said having a stroke cost them their job, with almost one in five saying it had a negative effect on their relationship while 5% said financial insecurity had led to them losing their home.

Younger people were more likely to be adversely affected emotionally - more than half under the age of 50 said they had not recovered psychologically and a quarter said they not feel any hope, a year on. This compares to 44% for those over the age of 50. 

The Stroke Association, which carried out the research, said the findings re-inforced the “urgent” need for more funding, including public donations, for support services to help survivors rebuild their lives.

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One in ten said  they lost friends as a result of having a stroke.  

More than three quarters of the 220 people surveyed in Scotland (77%) said that hope played an important or critical part in their recovery. 

Louise Copland, 36 from Glasgow, was left unable to walk or talk after having a stroke six years ago, two months before she was due to get married.

She said: “At the time I was terrified, I had no idea what was going on, but I got the impression it was a big deal, which made me very anxious.

“My family and the physiotherapists were marvellous.  

“I’ll never forget standing up for the first time.  It felt weird and I was dizzy, but it was exhilarating. 

“I had to call my parents to give them this fantastic news and they immediately got in the car to go to the hospital and share my happiness and excitement.  


“This was my first moment of hope that there might be light at the end of the tunnel.”

She said a determination to walk down the aisle with her father, gave her hope and spurred on her recovery.

She said: “I focused all my attention on being able to walk again. I did it.  

“This was the biggest moment of hope I’ve had since my stroke and it gave me the impetus to carry on.”

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However, she says the emotional impact of her stroke has been more challenging to overcome.

She said: “I wake up every morning with an arm and leg that don’t work like the way they did.  I fear the challenges in forming new relationships – my confidence has been dashed and people do judge you for having a disability which is demeaning.”

She attends a club, run by the Stroke Association and said the support of others had helped her come to terms with her illness.

“It’s important to ask for help when you need it and it is out there.  There is hope after stroke.”

When asked what gave them their first moment of hope after a stroke, nearly one in five, (19%) said it was being able to use their affected side for the first time and 11% said it was being able to speak again.

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However, one in ten (10%) said it was being able to complete a small every day task such as making a cup of tea.  

John Watson, Associate Director Scotland at the Stroke Association said: “Every five minutes, someone in the UK will have a stroke and, in a flash, their life is changed. 

“There are more than 128,000 stroke survivors living in Scotland and two thirds of people who survive a stroke find themselves living with a disability. 

“The physical impact of a stroke is severe, but for many, the emotional aspects of coming to terms with having a stroke are just as significant. 

“At the Stroke Association, we support and help people to find this hope, and rebuild their lives. But with 1.3m people and rising in the UK now living with the effects of a stroke, our services have never been more stretched. 

“We urgently require the support of the public to help us continue to support stroke survivors to rebuild their lives.”