Stroke victim Brian back from the brink

Brian and Margaret Rothwell at their home in Hindley
Brian and Margaret Rothwell at their home in Hindley

A WIGAN grandad who was left severely brain damaged after a stroke is now living independently after receiving round-the-clock care.

When Brian Rothwell suffered his stroke three years ago while on holiday with wife Margaret, it caused an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) - an abnormal connection between arteries and veins - and he developed an Acquired Brain Injury.

As a result, the former British Aerospace engineer spent 10 months in intensive care at Wigan Infirmary and was later transferred to a neuro-rehab centre The Priory, in Bury.

He had a tracheostomy and had to be fed through a peg, was unable to speak and walk.

But following 16 months of care at his Hindley home from staff from The Complete Group, a support service for adults and children with complex disabling conditions, the father-of-three is slowly regaining his mobility and he no longer needs their support, as his condition has improved significantly.

Margaret, 67, said: “Brian is so much better. This is what we have been working towards. He can transfer weight from one foot to another and so can walk with the help of others, but it is only a short distance.

“He still has to be fed by a peg feed tube which goes to his stomach. The trachea has to be replaced regularly and so after receiving help from the Primary Care Trust and The Complete Group, I can do this myself. But his health in general is superb, especially as we have had some close calls.

“It has been a long process to get to where we are now, but we are pleased the Complete Group has been able to remove care.”

While Brian, who has two grandchildren, was at The Priory, a care team from The Complete Group visited him and assessed his needs to ensure they could give him the best home support.

He was aided by personal assistants who provide Brian’s day-to-day help, working under the supervision of a clinical nurse specialist and care manager.

Margaret added: “The Complete Group has been excellent.

“We were given a choice of carer, as we did interviews whilst in The Priory and they observed his progression and even collected him, so it was a smooth continuation.

“We have always had the care we needed and the carers have been very supportive and answered all our questions.

“On the transition from rehab to home, any apprehension we had soon became unfounded. We were given the privacy we needed but always had someone at hand for our every need.

“We were treated with great respect and given every opportunity to be involved in how we thought things should be done.

“I would also like to thank staff at Wigan Infirmary and The Priory for their excellent care too.”