A HILLINGDON carer has described the loneliness caused by aphasia as he backs a Stroke Association campaign to raise awareness of the condition.

Ravi Paul, 42, has severe aphasia following a stroke he had in January 2009. The condition causes difficulties with language and speech.

Ravi’s stroke left him unable to speak at the age of 28. Along with his parents, Ravi’s brother, Mohan Paul, still cares for him to this day.

Mohan, 40, said: “Our mum was at home with Ravi when he had his stroke. He had been complaining about headache, toothache and general weakness on one side of his face throughout the day.

“My mum asked Ravi to change the TV channel and he didn’t respond. She asked two more times and then Ravi slumped to his side.

“When he became unresponsive and heavy on one side, she realised he was having a stroke. My mum quickly called for an ambulance but frustratingly, there was a delay of 1.5 hours. 

“Ravi is unable to speak and has trouble with his long-term memory. Occasionally, he does suffer from depression and loneliness, even if he otherwise says he’s fine.

“Physically Ravi has lost the use of his right side and suffers a little muscle wastage. He also has visual impairments.

“The stroke also affected me. I sadly had a relationship eventually break down due to my caring responsibilities.

“Ravi’s stroke made me consider what’s important in life and, while I did pass up some career opportunities, I have had a semi-successful career while also being a carer for Ravi.

“I encountered a significant episode of depression and anxiety for a period of time as being a carer for my brother and ageing parents, putting their needs ahead of mine, started to take its toll on me.

“I received help from both work and private medical care and found I now have better coping mechanisms.”

New research from the Stroke Association reveals over half (54%) of people in London have never heard of aphasia*, despite it affecting over 350,000 people in the UK1. 

Aphasia is a language and communication disorder - with stroke being the biggest cause1. The condition often has a profound effect on someone’s ability to speak, read, write and/or use numbers.  There are 1.3 million stroke survivors living in the UK, and over a third (40%) will experience aphasia after their stroke.