Ken Clift was only 51 when two sudden strokes left him with blindness in one eye, an immobile left arm and hand, and a weak left leg.
“If somebody had told me I would have a stroke, I would have laughed at them,” says the former customer service representative with a Newfoundland wholesale flooring company. His life literally changed overnight.
Three years later, Mr. Clift continues to battle back from stroke as a participant in a CPSR-funded clinical trial into cognitive and physical exercise post-stroke. And he is pleased with his progress.
Since joining the study at St. John’s L.A. Miller Centre, Newfoundland’s primary rehabilitation hospital, he can walk up steps, his knee and ankle are stronger and he is no longer dragging his toes.
“I find a big difference since I started this,” Mr. Clift says. “They target your weak spots.”
What does improved recovery mean to him? He can take his cane and walk around the duck pond near his home. Inside the house, he can move around unaided. “I can’t stand relying on anyone,” he says.
More research into recovery is needed to help the 400,000 Canadians living with long-term stroke disability, Mr. Clift says. “If they come up with any more research programs, call me. I want to participate in them all.”