Stroke that hospitalised her for months
numbness on one side of the body, including legs, hands or feet, difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences, sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes, sudden memory loss or confusion, and dizziness or a sudden fall, or a sudden severe headache.
Ms Thomas-norman explained how her experiences have had quite an impact on her life. “I was a driver for disabled children and ran my own business,” she said.
“I also used to supervise children around their lunchtimes in a school.
“It has been terrible. I would cry all the time. It’s a lot to take in, you want your life back.
“The day you are called disabled is a tough one to take.
“I looked after three kids for 20 years, Cameron, Scott and Erica. When they started work and college everything was starting for me, and then this happened and it was all taken away.
“I was in hospital for almost two months. They said it would be longer, but I was determined to get out – so I’d make anyone who visited help me walk up and down the ward and bang my crutch, saying I’m leaving – and I did get out earlier.”
Ms Thomas-norman has since made changes in her life to ensure she turns her experiences into a positive.
She is part of the Singleton Hospital Stroke Ward Support Team on Ward 7 where she helps offer support to stroke victims.
And she attends the Arni (Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury) referred by Survivors of Stroke Wales.
“I have got an adapted car, I go to a stroke group and I am part of a new stroke support team at Singleton Hospital every Thursday,” she said.
“All of us have had strokes on the team and all have a story to tell.
“The Stroke Association has been so good to me. I wanted to feel there had been a reason for my stroke so I’m giving back.
“I just want to say a big thank you to the Stroke Association Group, they helped me get back on my feet and showed me there is life after a stroke.”