A LEEK stroke victim has been recognised for the support she offers other survivors of the condition.
Mary Bevan, aged 61, had a stroke in 2005, and lost the ability to move her left arm and leg. She also struggled to come to terms with her life as a stroke survivor.
But her determination to fight back has now won her a Highly Commended Life After Stroke certificate from the Stroke Association
Mary said: "In 2004, my husband David died following a stroke, and I'd always believed that with a stroke, there was very little chance of recovery.
"It doesn't happen overnight, but there is life after stroke. Once I'd made progress with my recovery, I began volunteering on the stroke ward at City General Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent.
"I spend time with stroke survivors and try and answer their questions about recovering from a stroke.
"I think one of the biggest challenges any stroke survivor can face is that their life has changed forever.
"Hopefully by offering some support and reassurance I can show that it's possible to recover and make the most of life."
Sandra Booth, family and carer support co-ordinator at the Stroke Association, nominated Mary through the Stroke Association's Life After Stroke awards.
She said: "For a number of stroke patients, time in hospital can seem endless, very frightening and lonely.
"Mary's calm and positive attitude has great influence on someone who is frightened, anxious or just simply does not knowing what to expect.
"She's worked very hard to improve the lives of many patients on the acute stroke ward."
Mary received her Highly Commended certificate from Michael Squire, General Manager of the Hilton Birmingham Bromsgrove Hotel, in a ceremony at the venue.
The Life After Stroke Awards recognise and celebrate the journeys of immense courage and determination by stroke survivors and their carers to overcome the effects of stroke.
The awards also recognise the compassion and commitment of people and organisations to rebuild lives that have been affected by stroke.
Nominations for the 2014 Life After Stroke Awards are now open. Visit www.stroke.org.uk/lasa to find out how to make a nomination.
The Stroke Association offers a range of services for stroke survivors in the West Midlands to support them in their life after stroke at its Life After Stroke Centre, based in Bromsgrove.
Services on offer include communications support, an information and advice resource centre, and a full range of training programmes. For more information, call 01527 903903.