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Robert McCrum, who survived a severe stroke in 1995, goes through an intensive two-week rehabilitation course to rejuvenate his left side.

Robert McCrum journeys into his own brain to understand more about stroke.

Ever since he suffered a severe stroke in 1995, Robert has been living with its consequences. He says, "It's one of the remorseless side-effects of the affliction that, if you survive it, you will live with its after-effects and the conundrum about existence it poses, for the rest of your life." The demands of an ongoing recovery still have to be met.

In the second programme, we follow Robert through an intensive two week long rehabilitation course to rejuvenate his left side. This is conducted by Consultant Neurologist Dr Nick Ward at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. Ward is at the cutting edge of neurological research, but Robert is sceptical that his condition can be improved when part of his brain, roughly the size of a lime, is dead and sending no signals to the rest of his body.

In the process, Robert explores stroke rehabilitation more generally and seeks to understand more about the brain's "plasticity"- its capacity to find fresh neural pathways and repair itself.

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Wed 26 Aug 2015 15:30

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Robert McCrum's brain scan

Robert McCrum's brain scan
Image supplied by the PLORAS research team

Support Organisations

Different Strokes A Charity set up by younger stroke survivors for younger stroke survivors (below retirement age) empowering younger stroke survivors, their families and friends to reclaim their lives and ambitions through active support.

Helpline: 01908 317618 or 0845 130 7172. Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, or leave a message.

Find out more about Different Strokes online text-chat

Different Strokes


Stoke Association provides up-to-date stroke information for stroke patients, their families and carers.

Helpline 0303 3033 100 or visit TalkStroke


  • Mon 9 Mar 2015 11:00
  • Tue 25 Aug 2015 21:00
  • Wed 26 Aug 2015 15:30



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