The Voice in your Community


Let The Voice Be With You

by Les Humphries of Rocester

February 3rd 2021, Issue 103

Previous articles by Les Humphries can be found here

This is Les Humphries last article before he died and I know he would want us to print it as he was that kind of man. As you can read in the article, he was always thinking of other people which reflects his warm nature. R.I.P. Les...


Well Readers, welcome to the first ‘Uttoxeter & Cheadle Voice’ of 2021. Nigel’s done wonders to get it out at all given the current situation!

What a bizarre Christmas when we were unable to visit all our loved ones, or them us.

Restrictions still apply as I am writing this on the day that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to make a Roadmap out of this Coronavirus announcement, which we all hope will relax lockdown a little. The trick will be not to allow too much too soon, we all know what happened, last time.

I got my first inoculation against Covid at Uttoxeter Racecourse back in January, but my wife Sandra has not had hers yet as we go through a traumatic time for us at the moment.

It began with a shock at shortly after 7 am on a Monday morning. I was in the conservatory when Sandra appeared, with her face twisted to one side, unable to speak and tell me what was wrong. I dialled 999 and called for an ambulance which thankfully was less than ten minutes arriving. The medics - one male, one female, were great, putting us at our ease whilst they did all manner of tests, confirming what we had suspected, Sandra had suffered a stroke.

Although she had been struggling with her blood pressure for some time, this came out of the blue. The medics said she was lucky in so much that the stroke was concentrated on the head, and her limbs were unaffected, also it appeared her brain was fine as well. They then rushed her off to A & E at Stoke’s University Hospital.

Of course, I was not allowed to go with her and the medics told me to leave it a couple of hours and then ring for any news. I must admit I was in panic mode not knowing what was happening, Sandra took her mobile so we could keep in touch, but I decided not to text her until I had spoken to the hospital.

Understandably with what’s going on at present the staff are at full stretch, and I had a heck of a job to get through, but eventually I did get to speak to a doctor who said they were waiting for the results of a CT Scan and if he needed to give her a certain injection he would need my permission so he would ring me back. That never happened thankfully and Sandra was able to text me that it was a minor stroke and there was no clot on the brain, which took a load off my mind.

After giving Sandra a Covid test which was negative, they were able to move her on to the Stroke Ward where there were three other patients (thank goodness for mobiles). I rang the ward after lunch to find out what was happening as they had not told Sandra anything (they didn’t tell me anything either) but they asked me to take her a nightie and some toiletries in as they would be keeping her overnight.

I put a bag up with a nightie, towel, my toothbrush by mistake, no deodorant or hair brush, fixodent instead of toothpaste (its for my plate, she doesn’t have any false teeth) but I did remember some perfume and foundation cream!! Totally useless. We had to break the segregation rules as I don’t drive and had to get my son Richard to take me. I wasn’t allowed on the ward which was locked, I just had to speak into a box and a nurse fetched the bag (It turned out the nightie I put in was an old one which was too short, and showed all her bum off) I was not too popular!

The following morning after chatting to Sandra by text, and finding out she’d not had a good night because they kept taking her blood pressure, I again rang the ward. When someone finally answered the phone they told me she was fine and sitting reading by her bed. That was the last contact I had with the hospital, but Sandra texted me that once they had sorted her mountain of tablets out, they would probably let her come home, which was indeed what happened, but it was left to Sandra to sort everything out with me. They really were at full stretch. My son in law Phil took me this time and we picked her up at 6pm..

When I picked Sandra up from the ward I was amazed that she was already able to get a few words out, very slowly but understandable. She now has to do speech therapy and the hospital are convinced her voice will come back to normal, we just have to be patient.

Sandra was full of praise for everyone at the hospital, especially the ward. They couldn’t have treated her better, and she even enjoyed the food, nothing was too much trouble, which was lovely to hear considering the pressure our NHS is under at present.

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of us both to thank all the wonderful people, family, neighbours, friends and colleagues for all their good wishes, offers of help, cards and flowers we’ve received. I didn’t realise we had so many friends. But Rocester is like that, always a tight community spirit. Sandra’s already doing well, helped by your good wishes, and I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s nagging me again. Thank you all !!!!

I would like just to finish on a positive note outside of my own personal problems, with the news that you will all no doubt be aware by now, on the gradual relaxation of the lockdown regulations which will cheer us all up.

Get together with our families again, get the kids back to school and get all our shops and businesses back on track, so that by July we can think about holidays again, go for a drink with our mates etc. I’m sure Nige will be covering this elsewhere in this edition of ‘The Voice’ but let’s all be sensible and get our lives back on track. Remember, our scientists are the best in the world, the injection when it is offered to you.

Meantime, stay safe TTFN Les...