Stroke survivor calls for more support

Tara in hospital with her support dog Flash.

Tara in hospital with her support dog Flash. - Credit: Archant

A woman who suffered a severe stroke which has left her with sight and mobility problems is calling for more support for survivors in North Somerset.

Tara Playle was 24 when she suffered a massive stroke at her home in Claverham - her prognosis was so serious doctors warned her family she was unlikely to survive.

She spent nine months in hospital and doctors had to remove part of her skull to relieve the pressure of the bleed on her brain.

The stroke has left her with severe sight problems, difficulties with walking, depression and fatigue.

Tara, now 27, says the care she received in hospital was excellent but she feels let down by the lack of support at home.

Her mum Maggie said: "Going home was a challenge.

"Home was not designed for someone with limited mobility and whilst Tara was taking a few steps by December, she was easily fatigued and very unsteady.

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"With limited options and funding for the Brain Injury Rehab Unit running out, the situation was looking dire.

"We needed a care package - but it seemed this was not available.

"In desperation I contacted our MP, Liam Fox.

"With his help an emergency care package was suddenly made available, and a week before Christmas Tara came home."

Tara, who was working as a carer for stroke survivors when she suffered a stroke, said the physiotherapy at home was 'brilliant' but she now has to pay for it herself at £55 per hour.

She said: "I have no sensation in my left side. I had to learn to walk again.

"I've lost the sight in my right eye completely and have only half sight in my left eye.

"I can walk a little, but only for about 30 metres or so and any further than this I use a wheelchair.

I have no useful movement in my left hand or arm at all.

"Funding for carers is also a big problem.

"I'm still on an emergency care package even after all this time as there are not enough carers in North Somerset.

"I don't know which carer I'm going to get from day to day.

"My carers are important to me because they help me to promote my independence and assist me with daily tasks I struggle to complete by myself."

For more information about support services for stroke survivors, log on to or call 03033 033100.