A stroke survivor has been reunited with her children in time for a precious family Christmas thanks to a “golden” teamwork effort organised through Walsall Community Stroke Team
Angelle Omodunni had been away from her three children for five months following a stroke on 30 June this year. After receiving care at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital she moved to Hollybank House in Willenhall in August for rehabilitation.
The single mum’s greatest wish was to be home in time for Christmas and last month she was finally discharged. The 42-year-old has been left with no feeling on her right side, making it difficult for her to walk, and she is trying to adjust to life with her disabilities. But she has been overwhelmed by the love, kindness and compassion that those involved in her rehabilitation and the wider Walsall community have shown towards her.
Angelle, who lives in Walsall, was working as a carer when she became ill in the summer.
“It was the strangest thing – I couldn’t co-ordinate properly, my legs wouldn’t seem to work and I just knew something wasn’t right,” she explained.
“My main thought was I need to get my children to school and I didn’t want them to worry about me. When they had gone I felt worse and managed to phone my friend who sorted an ambulance for me. I had to leave in a wheelchair and by the time I arrived at hospital I had lost my speech. I was so panicked because I couldn’t communicate to say that there was no-one here for my children. I was so scared.”
Arrangements were made for Angelle’s children while their mum was so poorly and when she moved to Hollybank House staff involved in her rehabilitation got to know her really well. They realised that, with no family around her, Angelle wouldn’t be able to go out shopping for Christmas presents and would also not be able to afford gifts as she was unable to go back to work.
Michelle Awale, Advanced Occupational Therapist with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “As a team we look at the whole picture and knew that because of Angelle’s stroke there were so many ways that her life and family would be impacted.
“She was absolutely desperate to be home for Christmas and we worked her so hard to achieve this! We really applied “tough love” reminding her that once back at home she would have to work out how to manage her limited mobility. We worked with speech therapy and are delighted at how well she can now speak as well as manage a range of other life skills such as making drinks in the kitchen, washing clothes and that sort of thing.
“The team and others in community services rallied around to help provide Angelle with essentials such as clothing, toiletries and electrical items ready for discharge because she was in no position financially or physically to sort this out herself. In the meantime Stroke Rehab Administrator Michelle Roughley contacted Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity which put us in touch with the 4 Steps to a Smile charity run by Linda Sandhar. The charity has supported the children’s Christmas present wish list along with other items to make the big day as magical as possible.
“I am so proud of how all our teams have pulled together as well as how Walsall’s wider community continues to support this family. I think we were all so determined to help all we could because we all stopped to think how we would feel in her situation. She is a relatively young patient whose life has now changed completely.”
Angelle added: “The care and support has been golden. I can’t thank everyone enough; I am so humbled by what has been done for us. Everyone at Hollybank is so kind and Maxine from my care agency is also so special. I thank God for them all.”