Over 250 Stroke survivors and their families have signed a petition to save a recovery service which is due to be axed at the end of the month.

Patients say they are devastated that a service which supported more than 800 people in the county last year will stop on June 30 when its funding ends.

Solicitor Michael Geeson-Brown, 68, from Charlbury, had three strokes last year which left him unable to walk and with a number of other disabilities.

He said: “The Stroke Association has helped me understand my stroke, and its effects.

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“I have moments of despair at the life I have lost, and the things I loved doing – going to cricket matches, walking, and exploring foreign countries. I can’t even go upstairs now or dress myself.

“The emotional impact of the stroke hit my wife and I a few months after the stroke. 

“My weekly zoom meetings are a lifeline. They allow me to meet other stroke survivors and share experiences.

"It is both humbling and reassuring. Without them it would be easy to lose a sense of perspective.”

To sign the petition, go to www.change.org/p/save-stroke-recovery-service-in-oxfordshire

Carl Vessey, 53, from Banbury, has had three strokes, including one last October and described the experience as "catastrophic".

Carl Vessey, 53, has had three strokes he described as 'catastrophic' (Image: The Stroke Association)

He said: “Overnight, my life changed for ever. I have been left with low mood, memory problems, anxiety, and a degree of mobility problems.

“The possibility that the support I received from the Stroke Association may be ending, fills me with a great deal of worry and trepidation - not just for myself but other people in need too."

Stroke survivor John Phillips helped to create the service and has launched the petition on change.org.

He said: “By not funding this service, it leaves a black hole of support across all of Oxfordshire in comparison to the surrounding areas of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

"This gap in service provision will be creating a postcode lottery and a health inequality for Oxfordshire."

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Nick O’Donohue, the Stroke Association’s Associate Director for the South East, said the charity was desperately sorry for stroke survivors and carers.

“Stopping the service at this point would be disastrous for anyone who has had a stroke recently or who may have one in the coming months," he said.

The NHS BOB Integrated Care Board said funding had been awarded by NHS England for a 12 month pilot project from April 2023 to April 2024.

A spokesperson said: "We acknowledge the concerns of patients, but unfortunately, this funding was for a fixed period only and the pilot must finish at the end of June.

"The funding for the long-established Aphasia (communication) service provided by the Stroke Association remains in place and the service will continue uninterrupted.”