Coffee shop owner Paul Haggath was a fit and healthy 41-year-old when he suffered a stroke out of the blue and was left paralysed down one side of his body.
The Peterhead father-of-four, who is the director of Symposium Coffee House, fell ill at the start of 2018 and is still recovering nearly two years on.
Mr Haggath described the effect his sudden change in circumstances had on his family as he spoke out to mark World Stroke Day today.
He said: “It has probably been more difficult for my family than it has been for me.
“My youngest two daughters are still a bit wary, when it happened they were worried I was going to die.
“It happened out of the blue, I like going to the gym and I’d say I’m quite a healthy person.”
Mr Haggath said he had started “feeling quite poorly” around the time of the stroke, but had no idea he was at such risk.
“As I was getting out of the shower, one morning in January, I felt light-headed but didn’t think anything of it”, he said.
“No sooner had that happened, than I fell to the ground completely paralysed down one side and unable to talk.”
Mr Haggath’s wife, Wendy, spotted him on the bathroom floor and broke through the locked door to reach him.
Within two hours of having the stroke, Mr Haggath was at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
At that point, he was completely paralysed and couldn’t talk.
He said: “I received thrombolysis within two hours of my symptoms starting.
“After four hours of receiving the treatment, I started to make sounds and gradually form words again.
“I also regained movement within 24 hours, and was able to walk to the visitor’s room slowly.”
Doctors discovered that Mr Haggath’s stroke was caused by a hole in his heart which he has had his whole life, and last December he underwent surgery to repair it.
Mr Haggath said: “I’d say I’m about 90% healthy now.
“I still find it hard to concentrate, I often struggle with words and I have a bit of trouble with my memory.
“I’m normally used to working long hours in the industry I work in, but in a 7am to 10am shift my mind feels like it’s done by 8.30am.”
Communications manager of the Stroke Association in Scotland, Angela Macleod, said: “Our message on World Stroke Day is reinforced in the world stroke ‘bills of rights’.
“It highlights that everyone with suspected stroke should have rapid diagnosis and be treated quickly.
“We believe everyone in Scotland with suspected stroke should receive this level of treatment no matter where they live or when they had the stroke.”