Patrick Trueman is to face the biggest challenge of his life when he has a major stroke. An upcoming storyline will follow Patrick’s journey from the initial signs that something is wrong to the stroke - and its severe consequences. The outcome, and the effect it has on both Patrick and those closest to him, will be explored throughout the rest of the year.
“This is a truly important storyline as strokes affect so many different people, in so many different ways," Rudolph Walker, Who plays Patrick, told us. "We are all working very hard on this and I really hope Patrick’s story can help raise awareness.”
“This is an important storyline in so many ways," added EastEnders' Executive Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins. "Not only does it give the wonderful Rudolph Walker the chance to shine, but we also hope it will raise awareness of the warning signs that come before a stroke and the difficulties of caring for the elderly in 21st century Britain.”
The EastEnders team have worked closely with leading stroke experts, charities - including The Stroke Association - and stroke survivors whilst researching this storyline to accurately raise awareness of such a sensitive subject.
Joe Korner, Director of External Affairs at the Stroke Association, said: “Many people will be able to identify with this storyline, including the 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK. A stroke can leave people facing the rest of their lives with a disability, and the emotional strain caused by the condition can be devastating. We’re thrilled that Rudolph Walker is taking on this challenging role and are very pleased to have been able to offer our advice and support with the plot development.
"We hope that Patrick’s experiences will raise awareness amongst viewers particularly of the symptoms of a mini-stroke, which include facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, and last for a short period of time. It’s a warning sign that a stroke could be on the way, yet thousands of people dismiss a mini-stroke as ‘just a funny turn.’ It’s a medical emergency and anyone with those symptoms should call 999 immediately. Anyone who’d like to find out more about stroke can visit www.stroke.org.uk.”