A new dad who suffered a major stroke in his thirties has told how his greatest wish is be able to talk freely to his wife and baby son.
Scott Strachan was a fit and healthy 37-year-old when he collapsed at home without warning.
His wife Emma, a nurse, was quick to recognise the signs of a stroke when she saw his drooping mouth despite paramedics assuring her he was too young.
Scott’s oxygen levels had dropped to dangerous levels and he was minutes away from falling unconscious when she found him.
He had suffered a large artery stroke, a type of ischemic stroke, which is caused by blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain.
The blockage was on the left side of Scott’s brain, which can result in right body weakness and speech problems.
Scott, now 40, spent more than four months in hospital in Glasgow and had to learn to walk again.
But he says the most difficult aspect of his illness has been losing his voice, meaning he can’t communicate properly with his young son Sebastian.
Scott said: “Emma and Sebastian and my dog Marnie are my reasons to live and be happy. It’s my greatest wish to talk again, normally.
“Emma has told me some things that I don’t remember, which is scary.”
Emma, 34, a nurse at the city’s Victoria Infirmary, recalled the terrifying day.
She said: “I remember saying to him, ‘Scott you are scaring me, what’s going on’.
“I managed to turn him around. He was conscious but I could see that he wasn’t himself.
“He was smiling and touching my face as if to say it’s okay, but he was only smiling on one side. By this time I had phoned an ambulance.
“I could see that he couldn’t move anything on his right side and he couldn’t speak. I thought oh my goodness you have had a stroke.
“The paramedics were saying he’s too young to have had a stroke and I was saying, ‘I can assure you, he’s had a stroke’.
“I phoned my friend who is an A&E consultant and she was saying, ‘I’m sure it won’t be’ but I knew.
She added: “He could have died if he wasn’t found, if I had been out of the house.”
Scott enjoyed adrenaline packed sports including snowboarding and running when his life changed on July 15, 2015.
He spent 17 weeks in the stroke ward of the hospital undergoing physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy – which he is still receiving.
He said: “It was six weeks before I started any kind of walking. This was a good day when I was able to walk a little.
“The 17 weeks in hospital was the longest and most terrible time of my life. I just wanted to go home and be normal.
“My speech was very bad, my arm didn’t work and my leg was weak. I didn’t speak or make a single sound for two weeks.
“I couldn’t do any of my favourite things anymore.
“I was so fit and healthy. I didn’t smoke, I was active, I ate well – but it still happened to me, for no reason.
According to the Stroke Association, aphasia or speech impairment can be the most difficult after-effect for patients.
Scott added: “I think about my speech all day, every day.
“Some people’s aphasia is different to mine. They can talk but not use numbers or they can talk but what comes out does not make sense.
“I know what I want to say but my words don’t come out. I talk to Emma the most, she makes me talk.
“I hope one day to talk to other people in sentences and not just one or two words.”