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Liverpool legend opens a new stroke facility

Liverpool legend Terry McDermott has officially opened a new facility for stroke patients at Aintree University Hospital.

The new relaxation room provides a dedicated space to help combat some of the psychological effects of a stroke.

The Reds icon, who suffered a stroke himself in 2016, was on hand to support his niece, Danielle McDermott, who works in the hospital’s Stroke team and who spearheaded the idea of creating a relaxation room. He was joined by David Johnson, who played for the club from 1976 until 1982.

The room, which is a converted office space, includes sensory lighting, relaxing music and essential oils which are known for their calming and therapeutic properties.

Terry said: “This is a great addition to the stroke ward at Aintree and will really improve the experience of patients. I’m incredibly proud of Danielle for having the initiative to create this space with the support of her colleagues.

“I’ve heard lots about it, so it’s great to see it in the flesh and be here for the official opening.”
The three-times European Cup winner was treated for a minor stroke in December 2016, days after his 65th birthday.

He said: “I had noticed my speech slurring and had a tingling sensation in my lips over a period of a few days. I went to my local hospital in Newcastle and within 48 hours of my tests, I’d had a three-hour operation and was back to full health in time for Christmas.

“It turned out one of the arteries in my neck was up to 69 per cent blocked. If it had not been diagnosed and treated immediately, I would have had a full-blown stroke.”

Dr Claire Cullen, consultant physician and clinical director for stroke at Aintree, said: “A stroke affects your brain, which is what controls your emotions and behaviours, so having the space to address any psychological issues alongside the medical care offered on our stroke unit is fantastic news for our patients and really enhances the psychology services provided on the ward.”

Danielle McDermott, stroke data and quality co-ordinator, said: “As a former stroke patient himself I knew Terry would understand how important a space like this is so I was over the moon when he said he’d come and officially open it.

“We started using the room with patients on the ward at the end of last year and the feedback has been really positive.”

In the coming months the team hopes to start offering holistic therapies, such as hand massages and reflexology, to stroke patients.

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