The student stroke survivor and the story behind the 'Superstar' necklace
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Brighton University graduate Joradanne Cliffe is using her jewellery design skills to raise money for charirty after her close friend Becki suffered a stroke at just 21. Here, she tells her story... My biggest inspiration is without a doubt my close friend Becki, whose life changed forever on February 27th 2011. Aged only 21, and still a student, Becki suffered a stroke which left her paralysed on the left side of her body. None of us at uni had any idea that someone so young would be vulnerable to such an attack and we weren’t aware of the steps to take when it did happen. Did you know that 1 in 5 people will have a stroke in their lifetime, and 25% of sufferers are under retirement age? These days, everyone talks about heroes and icons as celebrities and reality TV stars, but I can safely say that I look up to Becki the most, for her strength in the face of adversity. This is Becki’s story of survival and it is the reason I created the silver ‘Superstar’ necklace which champions the charity ‘Different Strokes’. At the time of the stroke, we were living in our university town, Brighton. I was studying 3D Material Practice and Becki was studying for a degree in media. We’d reached the spring of our final year, and we had all the great stories to prove it! Being finalists, we were approaching the conclusion to university life - beginning to gear up for our final assessments and then graduation.What happened next came out of nowhere. The stroke left Becki partly paralysed. Initially, she couldn't move her left arm and leg, she was unable to walk, sit-up in bed or even smile. At uni, students are away from their homes and families. Because of this it’s so important to look out for each other, whether that’s on a night out or just in day-to-day situations. When it comes to strokes, Becki was lucky because she was found in time, and those who found her acted ‘FAST’. This is the NHS campaign for the way to recognise and respond to strokes , which I’ve included below.
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- Face - has it drooped on one side?
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- Time to call an ambulance!
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