Stroke Association’s Christmas campaign features a story from Santokh. He tells us how he's finding the magic in Christmas once more.

In a single moment, stroke can snatch away a former way of life. But the human spirit is powerful and people adjust with resilience. With your support, we can help stroke survivors see that they are more than the physical abilities and self-belief they may have lost. We can help them make their best possible recovery, and find the magic in Christmas once again – help them believe “I am more than my stroke”.

Two years ago, when he was 58 years old, Santokh had a devastating stroke. He was left with limited mobility, and severe aphasia. He can only communicate through gestures, and the word “hey”. The experience was frightening for his wife Nielam and his Chilren, Rohin and Prianka, and their world turned upside down.

“The first Christmas after Santokh’s stroke was different,” his wife Nielam says. “It was still a lovely Christmas, but there was still some sadness. We missed his voice, we missed his jokes, and we missed his laughing.”

However, Santokh’s stroke hasn’t stopped him doing what he loves. With help from the Stroke Association, he joined a gym. His mobility has vastly improved, and he can now use over 20 machines, and adjust them himself. His doctor and his family never thought they’d see such improvements in his physical abilities.

“The Stroke Association has helped us along every step of the way,” says Nielam. “The progress he has made has been unbelievable. Santokh is so much more than his stroke. He’s a fighter, and he won’t give up.

“The best Christmas present we have this year is that he’s still here. I have my husband, and my children have their father.”

You can watch a short video on Santokh’s story on Stroke Association website (this link will take you away from our website).

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