No Life Half Lived is the new strategy which has been launched today by Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS).
The charity’s ambition is that everyone in Scotland gets the care and support they need, when and where they need it.
There are over one million people in Scotland living with the effects of serious chest, heart and stroke conditions.
Most people will not have access to the support or rehabilitation services that would help them live healthier lives and CHSS wants to change that.
By 2021, the charity aims to double the number of people it reaches by launching the No Life Half Lived Rehabilitation Support Service and increasing the support available through its specialist nurses, community groups, advice and information.
Jane-Claire Judson, CHSS chief executive, said: “We want to help people breathe better. We want people’s hearts to work as well as they can. And we want to make sure that everyone has the best recovery they can after a stroke.”
No Life Half Lived will address the unmet needs of people who are living with conditions across Scotland.
Jane-Claire said: “Every single day in Scotland there are people and families whose worlds are being turned upside down after a stroke or the diagnosis of a chest or heart condition.
“Many people can experience fear and isolation and are struggling with the impact it has on their lives.
“For many, every day activities such as picking up a knife and fork, making a cup of tea or leaving the house can feel like a massive challenge.
“And, sadly, not everyone is getting the care and support they need. We won’t stand for that.
“We want to make sure life with chest, heart or stroke conditions is a life lived to the full.
“But in order to ensure no life is half lived in Scotland, we need to double our income, double the number of our volunteers and double the amount of people through our services.”
Chest, heart and stroke conditions account for 40 per cent of all adult deaths in Scotland.
Every day in Scotland, 25 people have a stroke, 30 have a heart attack, 46 are diagnosed with heart failure and one in 11 people will struggle to breathe because of chronic chest illness.
Find out how you can help support the No Life Half Lived initiative at www.chss.org.uk/donate.
Hollie was just 20 when she had a stroke
Hollie Simpson is 22. She has cystic fibrosis and, in 2016, suffered a stroke when she was just 20.
Following a year of hospital treatment, Hollie thought she would never leave the house again.
Her stroke affected her speech, reading and writing and she lost feeling in the right hand side of her body.
Hollie said: “I was too scared to leave the house and didn’t want to speak to anyone in public.
“I started to withdraw from the world. It didn’t feel safe.”
Then Hollie met Wendy, lead co-ordinator of Rehabilitation Support Grampian for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.
Wendy supported her in regaining her confidence, starting with small steps like phone calls so that Hollie had the courage to speak to people outwith her family.
Eventually, Hollie was able to leave the house and go out and enjoy tea and cake in a café again.
Hollie continued: “It was such a big fear but I was able to face it with Wendy.
“I began to realise people could understand me and began to get my independence back. I don’t think Wendy knows just how much she helped me.”