Being of Ghanaian descent and witnessing several relatives suffer from strokes in Ghana, it is a particular focus of mine to give something back. This comes in the form of wanting to build an in-patient rehabilitation unit to help address the poor stroke-after-care that currently exists, plus wanting to improve health awareness and prevention matters.
I was born in 1980 to Ghanaian immigrant parents. I left for Ghana aged six as it was decided it was best for my upbringing to learn my native tongue and extended, rich Ghanaian culture. I attended both primary and secondary school in Ghana until the age of 15 before returning to the UK to continue my education.
I proceeded to do this, including higher education as a mature student. This was owing to my commencement of family life at the early age of 19 years old. I opted to work rather than completing university upon the first time of asking due to the pressures of raising a young child. There were undoubtedly many temptations to earn money by various other means, which I later fell into for a few of my formative years.
At the age of 24, I lost my mother to breast cancer. This momentous event triggered a strong urge to really change the course of my life for the better. I was fortunate enough to be alive and not incarcerated like many of my peers. I also had a few conscientious people in my life, particularly my father, who convinced me to go back to education.
As a result, I enrolled at Birkbeck University studying on a part-time basis whilst working a full-time job. I completed the access course with a distinction in Biology and Chemistry. It was following this I went on to complete a BSc in Physiotherapy at St George’s University.
The drive to be a physiotherapist was owing to several positive encounters with allied health professionals who were involved in my mother’s care prior to losing her battle against breast cancer. I started my journey as a physiotherapist working in the NHS alongside holding a part-time role at Charlton Athletic football club for five years. I then moved to the Premier League, working for West Ham United FC for four years and then later to Arsenal FC as an academy physiotherapist treating a wide variety of sporting injuries.
My interest during my early years in the NHS had always been in neurology so I found myself wanting to learn more about concussion management and particularly head injuries. I specialised in other neurological conditions including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries.
My main vision is as follows:
I am looking forward to working with Centric, and other potential partners, to bring this vision into reality and contribute to improving outcomes for stroke patients in Ghana, where care is often poor.
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