A Sunderland dad who has battled back to health following a series of strokes has been recognised for the way he uses his experience to help others.
Steven Hogg, from Hampden Road, suffered his first stroke in April 2005 aged 47 years old.
A former manager for a software company, Steven first realised something may be wrong when he felt that his arm was numb, but put it down to tiredness.
But later that night his wife Judith found him collapsed and called an ambulance.
Doctors at Sunderland Royal Hospital later confirmed he had suffered a stroke.
He said: “By the time I was taken into the ambulance my voice was affected and I couldn’t speak.
“There was a clot on my brain, which made me paralysed down my right side and my speech was affected.
“My consultant Professor Gray spoke to Judith and painted a very black picture saying that the stroke was very severe and it was possible that I wouldn’t walk or speak – but I proved them all wrong.”
But it was a long road to recovery, with Steven spending three months at Monkwearmouth Hospital, where he worked with a physio to learn to regain the mobility that he lost.
Steven had to cope with the loss of mobility in his right arm as well as learning how to speak and walk again before returning to his home.
Steven added: “I had been told that I had aphasia, a communication problem and started a 12-week Speech and Language Therapy course at Newcastle University at North East Trust for Aphasia (NETA).
“This helped me tremendously and consequently I now volunteer to help there to try to give something back for the help they gave me.
“I learned to drive again in an adapted car and passed my test again.
“I was given the chance to attend Rehab UK to try to get me back to work.
“I did eventually go back to work and managed to get back to full time.
“But I had another mini stroke, which left me very fatigued, and because of this I had to give up working.”
Last year Steven also suffered a stroke behind his eye.
But despite all his health battles, Steven wanted to help others in his situation and has volunteered for the last few years at NETA, where he runs a music group and debate group.
He also volunteers for the Stroke Association, helping several stroke survivors and is an ambassador for City Hospitals Sunderland.
He was delighted to be nominated for the award, but said it is seeing how his encouragement affects the lives of others that gives him the most satisfaction.
He said: “It gives me such a buzz when someone actually learns to say something they couldn’t before. I love it.
“I hope that I can carry on with my volunteering as it helps me to cope with everything else.”
The Best of Health Awards honour outstanding individuals in the health profession.
This year the winners will be announced at the Quality Hotel in Boldon on April 27.