Until my mate Emma’s life-changing fall at the end of November 2021, the Glasgow Coma Scale, Significant Midline Shift and Acute Subdural & Subarachnoid Haemorrhages weren’t subjects I had ever encountered. Luckily that night, the duty neurosurgeon’s knowledge of those subjects and his professionalism saved Emma when the odds were stacked against her.

Another word which came into my vocabulary during the early stages of Emma’s rehabilitation was APHASIA. This condition is the loss of communication skills caused by stroke, traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative disease or tumour. It’s a complex condition requiring therapy and support for individual cases.

Living with Aphasia can be frustrating, sometimes producing feelings of isolation and anxiety. Those with Aphasia do not necessarily show any outward signs of their condition. It can affect relationships, employment, education, social life and confidence. Aphasia affects around 350,000 people in the UK.

SAY APHASIA provide drop-in support groups to help people experiencing life change adapt. It is a small charity which survives on donations. It is a charity close to Emma’s heart.

Two years on from her fall, Emma’s strength and determination has seen her return to full time employment. She remains eternally grateful to the health professionals and the organisations such as Say Aphasia who have been there for her.

In February 2023, I was proud to be at Emma’s side as we completed the Brighton Half Marathon, raising a substantial amount of money for Say Aphasia. Unfortunately, my knees are no longer in a condition to attempt the 2024 event. However, I am pleased to hand the baton over to my youngest son, Michael, who will be donning the Say Aphasia vest as he runs his first Half Marathon.

Please consider a small donation to such a worthy cause. Your support will be much appreciated.

Dave x David Smith