Stroke of a second that could have changed industry trainer’s life

This is not an estate agency story, but in a way it is. And anyway, it’s an important one.

Also many of you will know Clare Yates, the industry trainer and regular speaker at agency events.

She has written especially for EYE this moving account of what happened when her husband, aged 52, had a very severe stroke last month.

It could easily have killed him but Adi has thankfully lived to tell the tale because his wife recognised in seconds what was happening to him and acted within moments.

Clare’s account is below and her message is a simple one: Act FAST.

FAST means act quickly, but also stands for the signs and actions of a stroke: Face, Arms, Speech, Time.

Tweets, etc, welcome please to get the message across. It may just save one life, one person from a lifetime of disability, or a family from grief  … and please remember, strokes don’t just happen to the elderly, but to young and apparently fit people like the colleague next to you.


It was Friday and the day after my husband, Adrian’s, 52nd birthday. He had the day off and it was a hot, sunny day. We were both busy thinking of all the things we needed to do before we held a party on the following day.

Adi took a walk into town to do some shopping while I made lists and did a bit of housework.

About two hours later he strolled back home, armed with shopping and some bits for our lunch and poured himself a beer.

He sat in the garden opposite me and smiled as my phone rang and I took the call. It was one of my sons, just calling for a chat about the party, but, as we were talking, I was aware Adi was choking on a bit of sandwich.

I looked at him and he seemed to recover but then I noticed a piece of salad had fallen on his arm. I gestured to him while my son chatted, but Adi seemed unable to see the salad and his face looked odd.

Within just a few more seconds, I realised he wasn’t moving his right arm and he was mumbling, and then the reality hit me. Adi was having a stroke.

I have no idea how or why I remained calm at this point. I told my son I had to go, and quietly ended our conversation without telling him what was really going on.

I then told my husband that he was having a stroke and I was calling an ambulance.

The emergency services were amazing and they told me all the things I needed to do while I waited for the ambulance.

After only four minutes, the paramedics were at the door, and within a further five minutes Adi was being wheeled out to the ambulance.

I climbed in after him and with blue lights flashing and the siren wailing, we began our 15-mile journey to the John Radcliffe Hospital. As we hurtled at breakneck speed, the paramedics kept busy, monitoring my husband’s blood pressure and heart rate while keeping us calm by chatting generally.

A call was made to the hospital to let them know we were on our way, and after just 20 minutes we arrived at A & E.

A team of nurses and doctors were immediately on the scene and asked me questions about Adi and ran some checks on his physical and mental condition.

At this point he was completely paralysed on his right side, no vision to his right and he was unable to speak.

After a further ten minutes they did a CT scan and identified a clot in an artery in Adi’s neck, which was responsible for starving his brain of blood and causing the stroke. They advised me they were going to administer a “clot-busting” drug which has a 90% success rate.

He lay in A & E as the drug was put into his system via a drip and cannula. I was told that we might be able to see results within an hour. I could not see how this could be possible when I looked at him and prayed they were right.

And they were right! After about 45 minutes, I noticed Adi was wiggling the fingers on his right side. I asked him if he was waving at me and he did it again! Then I saw him shuffling his legs – both of them!

Within another ten minutes, he was talking – not much sense – but whole words were coming out!

Within 2½ hours of the stroke my husband was off the drip, and considered ready to be taken up to the Stroke Unit. We were told he had suffered a massive stroke and he was one of their success stories.

When we got to the Stroke Unit, we couldn’t help but become more aware of what could have been Adi’s fate. We saw patients of all ages and stages of recovery, some of whom had been in the hospital for months.

On Saturday morning, the doctor (yes they really do work weekends!) advised him that all the signs pointed to a full recovery and they were delighted to see that he could walk unaided and feed himself effortlessly.

By Monday he was discharged from hospital and, after four weeks’ rest, he is driving again and looking forward to returning to work.

So how am I after all of this?

  1. Counting my blessings that I still have my husband and he has returned to full fitness, able to enjoy life to the full
  2. Feeling so fortunate that when the stroke happened, I was there and able to get help quickly
  3. Incredibly grateful to all the NHS staff and doctors for their care and devotion to their work
  4. Reassured that the ambulance drivers and paramedics were able to be on the scene within four minutes
  5. Determined to share this story everywhere so that more people can really understand what a difference a FAST response to a stroke can make

Clare and Adi pictured on holiday together after Adi’s massive stroke four weeks ago

Clare & Adi



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  1. fotw2614

    What a lovely story. It may not be property related but it was certainly well worth EYE publishing and a great article to read 1st thing in the morning! All the best to Clare and Adi, and hope the speedy recovery continues!

  2. Rob Hailstone

    Thanks for telling the story Clare. Knowing what happened could help prevent another person from suffering the debilitating, long lasting effects of a stroke.

    Property related, maybe? It highlights the importance of moving quickly!!

  3. smile please

    Must have been incredibly scary, well done for spotting the signs and i am glad it has a happy ending!

  4. Yatesy

    Thank you for your kind comments. Adi went back to work yesterday and feels great!

    It was scary and I am not particularly brave or calm normally as anyone who knows me well will agree.

    If everyone who reads this could share it – we may be able to help more people recover as well as Adi.


    Thank you once again.


    Clare xx


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