“I am 46 and in August 2018 I suffered 2 strokes.
My wife and I have 5 children and had just got married in the May so to suddenly have 2 strokes was a huge shock.
After the first stroke I didn’t have any mobility issues and was able to walk around, the ward can be noisy and hard to collect your thoughts so I used to escape to a bench just outside the doors, which faced a car park and the busy hospital environment, but being outside gave me that little bit of breathing space.
After the second stroke I unfortunately did end up with reduced mobility and was confined to the ward for many weeks. Although the staff are amazing I started to feel like a prisoner not having anywhere to escape to other than the visits to physio.
The first time I was allowed to leave the ward in a chair I just wanted to sit outside and try to get my head around what was happening but again I was greeted with noisy cars and people coming and going.
It was hard to see my children and I would often go days without seeing them due to being on the ward. After hearing about the garden I wished this had been available when I was on the ward, this would have been a wonderful place to sit and gather my thoughts in peace and quiet and to be able to spend some private time with my family. I believe it would have been more of an incentive to work harder in physiotherapy with it being outdoors and facing real situations such as uneven ground.
The pet and gardening sensory areas sound incredible and I could imagine would be fantastic for rehabilitation. I know that had this all been available for me I would have used it all to its full potential instead of feeling like rehab was clinical. I think it will be fantastic and that stroke patients will find it helps them in their road to recovery."