A retired GP has praised a stroke recovery service for the support it gave her as she recovered from a stroke.

Judith Graham, a recently retired physician from The Key Medical Practice in Kidlington, suffered a stroke at her own New Year’s Eve party in 2022, only nine months into retirement.

She said: "I just suddenly turned and collapsed to my knees. I didn't feel anything else.

"I felt completely well but when I went to stand up I couldn't.

"At the party there was a doctor I had helped to train. She said I think you’ve had a stroke.”

Ms Graham, who was then 64, was rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Her diagnosis was confirmed and she spent the following two months under their care before being transferred to Abingdon Community Hospital for an additional month of rehabilitative care.

She then came into touch with the Stroke Association’s stroke recovery service, which aims to smooth the transition for patients returning home and provide support, with the goal of reducing the risk of hospital readmission.

Ms Graham, one of more than 600 people admitted to hospital annually following strokes in Oxfordshire, was among the first beneficiaries of the newly launched service, which is now marking its one year anniversary.

Her stroke resulted in walking difficulties, weakness in her dominant right hand, and diminished vision in her right eye.

She said: "The main effect is difficulty walking and the lack of full use of my right arm.

"It’s difficult to get around. It’s taken six months for me to be able to walk to the bus stop."

She added: "The nursing staff at Abingdon and the community occupational therapist and physio made me aware of the new service.

"I'm a fully qualified doctor but until you've had a stroke you don't know what you're going to need or what's available.

“The support co-ordinator came out to see me which made the Stroke Association a very real thing."

Ms Graham descried the co-ordinator as "very pleasant and helpful".

She said it made "a significant difference to me getting through the first few months."

She added: "I really felt that there was somewhere I could go. You’re not feeling alone with your stroke."

Ms Graham was also linked up with other stroke survivors, online and on the phone, to share experiences and support each other, which she said was "very helpful".

The Stroke Association’s Oxfordshire Recovery Service has now supported more than 800 stroke survivors and their families since it was launched in April 2023, with the charity now looking into long term options for funding.