Seaton couple’s courage receives national recognition

David and Valerie McDonough with the Stroke Association’s support co-ordinator for East Devon, Bryon

David and Valerie McDonough with the Stroke Association’s support co-ordinator for East Devon, Bryonie Falkingham who has provided support to the couple. - Credit: Archant

Devoted pair are presented with a top award by the Stroke Association

A Seaton stroke victim and his caring wife have both received national recognition for their courage.

David McDonough, 55, has been awarded a Life After Stroke certificate from the Stroke Association in recognition of his bravery in coming to terms with the effects of the condition.

And his wife, Valerie, has received a similar award in honour of the support she has given him throughout his recovery.

The couple were presented with their certificates by radio presenter John Darvall in Weston-Super Mare earlier this month as part of the Stroke Association’s South West Life After Stroke Awards.

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Mr McDonough was a milkman before his stroke nearly four years ago, in December 2010. He stood up and fell straight to the floor. His wife Valerie recognised his symptoms from the ‘FAST’ advert and called 999. Despite her quick response, he was badly affected by his stroke and his chances of survival were less than 50 per cent.

But David pulled through. After six months rehabilitation in hospital, he is now in a wheelchair but remains determined to make the most of life.

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He said: “It can be very frustrating because I can’t drive and we had to leave our home because it was unsuitable for my level of disability. But we have started a new chapter in our lives. It was great to receive this award because it recognises the courage and determination it has taken us to get this far. It was wonderful to meet other people who have gone through similar things at the ceremony.”

David, who put his wife Valerie forward for her award, added: “I nominated Valarie for her total commitment, support and loyalty. I was worried that the disability I was left with and the emotional strain caused by stroke would be too much for her but she has proved me wrong. I love her to bits, she is my rock. I’m very lucky.”

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