Sean-and-Kathryn Meet Sean and Kathryn Russell

Meet Sean and Kathryn Russell


Sean and Kathryn Russell

Sean Russell had just retired when he suffered a severe stroke in the spring of 2015. He was left with expressive aphasia – difficulty communicating – and weakness on his right side. 

Sean received excellent care in the hospital but, once he was discharged, both he and his wife Kathryn needed some help navigating their new reality. Fortunately, they found March of Dimes Canada’s After Stroke program. 

After Stroke focuses on supporting stroke survivors and caregivers through their recovery, which can be a life-long process. The goal is to facilitate independence, community engagement, and to make sure people know that they aren’t alone.

Sean, for instance, found that monthly peer support meetings at Ontario’s West Park Health Care Centre helped ease his sense of isolation. “You meet other people, share stories, and realize you’re not in this boat alone,” he says. It was also a way to learn about the community resources available to him. 

Kathryn, as Sean’s caregiver, also found After Stroke to be invaluable. “It can be very damaging when you’re no longer connecting with your friends and neighbours, but through the program I met a whole new group of individuals,” Kathryn adds. “I felt comfortable opening up to them when I needed to so that I could continue to encourage and support Sean.”

If you or a loved one is looking for a Peer Support Group, visit our Peer Supports Groups page to find a group near you.