An inspirational mum-of-two from Horncastle has revealed how she has rebuilt her life just 14 months after suffering a stroke.
Naomi Wentzell (45) suffered the life-threatening stroke in August, 2015, while working at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre where she ran the pop-in cafe.
She was left with a condition know as “locked-in syndrome”. Doctors even told her family to prepare for the worst.
For the first couple of weeks, Naomi could only move her eyes.
Slowly, she started to improve and although initially she couldn’t speak, she remembers her first words to devoted husband Chris: “I love you.”
Since those early stages of recovery, Naomi has made amazing progress.
And, last Thursday, she returned to the Banks Centre to hold a bake sale in aid of the Stroke Association.
Naomi said: “I’ve always loved baking and making crafts, and although I don’t eat cakes myself as I’m diabetic, I love making them for other people.
“This is the first time I’ve done anything like this since my stroke, so it is great to see so many people here.”
Naomi still suffers from fatigue and her voice is weaker than it once was.
She is full of praise for the support she’s had from family and friends – and the Stroke Association’s Family and Carer Support Service.
She added: “Just over a year ago, I was told I didn’t have long to live, so to do something like the bake sale is absolutely brilliant.
“I’ve had so much help and support. That’s why I wanted to do something for the Association.”
Naomi’s initial target was £200, but through the bake sale and a JustGiving page, the figure now stands at £414.
Her recovery continues. She volunteers in the shop at the Banks Centre and says she would love to re-open the pop-in cafe next year... health permitting.
Louise Knight, community and events fundraising manager at the Stroke Association, said: “Naomi has shown extraordinary determination under unimaginably difficult circumstances, and her refusal to give up has helped her to slowly rebuild her life.
“Her recovery has been an inspiration to us all, and we’re extremely grateful to Naomi.
Paul Scott, a director of the Banks Centre, said: ”We are delighted Naomi has made such an amazing recovery.
“It’s a remarkable story. She is very determined. She always gives 100 per cent and we are more than happy to support her.”
lFor more information on how you can bake a difference, visit www.stroke.org.uk/giveahand.
Naomi has raised £414 via the bake sale and the JustGiving page.The Stroke Association provides a Family and Carer Support Service in Lincolnshire, in partnership with East, West, South and South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups . For more information about the Stroke Association, visit www.stroke.org.uk or call the Helpline on 0303 303 3100.