A SAUCHIE couple have spoken of how a stroke has robbed them of a normal life, as part of a campaign.

Robert Campbell, 58, suffered a life-threatening episode on May 24, 2008, just four months before he was to marry his now wife Allyson.

Nine years on, the Stroke Association is aiming to raise awareness of the challenges survivors face with communication difficulties and the support that is available to them.

Allyson, 49, reflected on the event which changed their life, when she said: "We went in [to hospital] between 10 and 11 on Saturday. He never saw a doctor until the back of six in the morning.

"I left him and he was speaking but slower, then went back in on the Sunday and he had lost his speech.

"He was losing the movement down the left side when I left him. On the Sunday, when I went in he couldn't walk or talk. It was frightening."

Robert, a former delivery driver, added: "It was frustrating. You were trying to do things and you just couldn't do them. The scariest thing was I couldn't walk. It was a shock to the system."

Within a week, he had recovered his speech but more than 350,000 people in the UK have aphasia - a communication disability caused by the stroke.

Allyson admitted the main difficulty for them has been finding the support for both Robert and herself, as his carer.

And she urged any families that go through the same heartbreak to try their best to treat the person in the same way as they did before the stroke.

She said: "When Robert took the stroke there were other people helping me find all the routes to go down.

"When people are in hospital they need to make sure occupational therapists (OTs) have got all the care packages in place before they leave.

"If they need anything down the line they should get in touch with social work, OTs, or physiotherapists. Even go through your own doctor.

"It can be tough but my advice would be to families...you don't treat them any different. Treat them the same way before they had the stroke because they haven't changed.

"They're still the same person you fell in love with, they just don't do the same things.

"We used to just jump in the car and go somewhere. It was a laugh when we did that. I miss that – I really miss that.

"Being honest, that is the most hurtful thing a stroke can do. It robs you."

Stroke Association is a charity that campaigns to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can.

The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support, and more information can also be found a stroke.org.uk