Stroke survivor turned fundraiser

Robert at Airedale HospitalRobert and staff of Airedale Stroke Ward

Stroke survivor, Robert Minton-Taylor, has been working hard to raise funds for Airedale Hospital Stroke Ward.

Robert Minton-Taylor, a former Leeds Beckett University lecturer, recently suffered a stroke that he originally believed to be a simple case of “cramp”. However, having lost complete feeling in his left leg, he was soon on the fast track to the local hospital.

“Absolutely incredible”

Now though, he has his mind set on raising as much money as he can for the Airedale Hospital Stroke Ward and their staff, whom he described as “incredible” during his time there:

“Absolutely incredible. I am in awe of them. I mean the kindness, the thoughtfulness. The Airedale ward was a warm ward, in terms of the feeling.

“Everybody from the cleaners to the consultants, they were just amazing. In some cases it made me quite tearful as they were so thoughtful,” Mr Minton-Taylor explained.

Robert Minton-Taylor shares his thoughts on his recovery process

Having been admitted into the ward himself, it was a very personal target of his to give something back to the people that helped him during a time that he described as emotionally tough:

“People are aware of your physical disabilities and will work around you on that, but it’s the mental side of it.

“I think that, for me, the most difficult thing to get my head around is working out what I can do and what I can’t do. I’m not the sort of bloke to be wandering around the house.”

Robert and staff of Airedale Stroke Ward

Mr. Minton-Taylor was in the ward for about four weeks but decided to set up his fundraising regime as soon as possible and was shocked by the response it got:

“I was getting donations from old students, staff, you know, people that I didn’t even know. I have raised £1,500 and that is also down to family, friends and Leeds Beckett University staff, too.”

Pamela Beaumont, a nurse specialist for strokes at the Airedale ward and lead fundraiser believes that our growing awareness of strokes has led to higher recognition of when they are happening:

“We see a lot more smaller strokes than we used to. This is probably due to public awareness and earlier recognition of stroke leading to presentation at hospital, and also better treatment for the condition atrial fibrillation which causes the bigger strokes,” Mrs. Beaumont said.

Pamela Beaumont in a specialist £1500 wheelchair

Following a stroke, a patient’s time inside the ward can last up to three months, meaning isolation and loneliness can become a key problem.

However, Airedale Hospital try to provide their patients with a wide variety of activities.

“In the ward, we have access to some audiobooks, record players, radios, TV, jigsaws, arts and crafts, etc.

“It is really important to keep the mind active and we encourage relatives to play a big part in this. Many patients now have iPads and Facetime is good to lift patients’ spirits,” Mrs. Beaumont explained.

Being responsible for so many people’s lives, as you would expect, comes with great responsibility. Yet the hard work put in by nurses such as Pamela all becomes worthwhile in the end:

“It is very rewarding to see patients having an improved stay due to the work we have done,” she said.

It’s important to understand the signs of a potential stroke and more than anything, you need to act FAST.

If you want any further information on how to donate to Pamela and her team then please click here.

About the Author

Harry Graham
Student at Leeds Beckett University reporting for Leeds Hacks

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