Man relives his stroke nightmare to back campaign

Stephen Levetts life was turned upside down after he suffered a stroke in June 2012.
Stephen Levetts life was turned upside down after he suffered a stroke in June 2012.
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A stroke victim is backing a new campaign urging Wearside men to check their blood pressure levels.

Stephen Levett’s life was turned upside down after he suffered a stroke in June 2012.

The 62-year-old enjoyed a successful career as a lecturer in environmental law and health & safety before being admitted to hospital with pneumonia.

But, once discharged, an adverse reaction to his medication saw his blood pressure rise and he suffered a stroke when a blood vessel burst in his brain, which affected the visual signals from his eyes.

New research released by the Stroke Association reveals that 60% of North East men are unaware of what the ideal blood pressure is (120/80mmHg).

Stephen, of Houghton-le-Spring, said: “I was at home watching football on TV when both my eyes went completely blank. I couldn’t see a thing.”

His wife Pauline took him to Sunderland Eye Infirmary before he later spent 15 days in Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The stroke left him unable to work, with no vision at all in his left eye and a constant bright light in his right eye. His memory, coordination and balance were also severely affected.

He added: “Each morning my wife would get up to go to work and guide me to the bathroom. She’d then put me in my favourite chair and turn on the TV so I could listen to people talk while she was at work.

“I was, and still am fiercely independent, so I found it so frustrating having to ask for assistance all the time.

“Pauline has been an absolute diamond and still helps me to this day.”