The Journey Begins-ish

I write this first post with a warning over typo’s and nonsense as the old noggin does get a bit more fatigued easily these day staring at an iPad screen! I will endeavour to keep up to date but as stroke recovery goals go it is not a priority. I say -ish in the title as the main event actually happened a week ago yesterday. Heading to the garage to collect some old trainers to head to school in because my others were still soaked from a recent Instow beach puddle splashing extravaganza with my two favourite people. I hit the deck like a sack of potatoes and started to get a bit worried about what was going on. Henry was outside as well and my first thought was to shout “Don’t run in the road!”luckily Beth was already rumbling that something was a bit odd and came out to see what was going on. At that point I think I remember her saying stay still and don’t get up -I’m ringing an ambulance which I was devastated at because today at school was roast day! I also knew as I hit the deck that I hadn’t managed to get my morning throne trip under my belt. Hence me asking Beth when I was on the floor whether she could take me to said lavatory. Needless to say that was the least of our worries when reality hit that this was something serious. We won’t go into detail about what state the drive was left in after I had been delivered into the back of the ambulance. Only detail I am going to add was that I was wearing my cream chinos which Beth hasn’t binned for some peculiar reason. Maybe to frame as a memento and look back on this crazy time. So we then move into the world of the abyss where vague recollections of discussions between Barnstaple and Derrifiord circulated around my head. Air ambulance was mentioned and I remember thinking Henry will be in his element! Lots of incredible NHS staff who I had forgotten but then met on the ward a few days later on my travels to the rehab gym were so supportive and talkative in the back of the ambulance. I vaguely remember discussions around odds and it was only later in that day speaking to Beth that I found out there was a choice made around something called thrombolysing which meant declotting the stroke and where 1 in 3 are successful and there is a 1in 20 chance it could be fatal. These staff are unbelievable having to make daily decisions like that around real people and their lives at home in the back of an ambulance or an A&E ward. And I think teaching is tough sometimes. So we then move on to where I sort of came around and have minor recollections up in the ward I’m sat in now. Lots of memories have blurred into one but hopefully I can give you a snippet of life in here after a stroke! Some wonderful nurses and doctors came into my cubicle and asked lots of questions which majority of the time I failed but no worries. It then hit me something big had happened. I couldn’t feel my left arm or leg and could barely raise my head off the pillow. I knew through all of this though I was in the best hands possible. Weirdly I didn’t feel scared at what had happened or the future it just felt like I was in a dream or outer body experience. Occasional moments there were frustrations at not being able to comprehend what was going on. Still up to now a week post incident I struggle to picture where the future will go but all the time I stay positive and do as much as I can to get home and be the man I can be for Beth, Henry and bump (not forgetting Jess Cat).

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Published by Seanie-D

28 year old Primary School teacher recovering from a stroke. Husband to Beth and Daddy to Henry, soon to be Daddy to another little monster!

61 thoughts on “The Journey Begins-ish

  1. Fantastic idea Sean, I look forward to reading your ramblings and watching your return to health. You are doing an amazing job, keep that determination going! Sending love and strength 💪

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    1. Myself and louie are sending get well wishes to you and hoping for a speedy recovery for you and your family! Take care Mr downing (Big hugs from louie)

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  2. Sean I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery. You’ll be back to the man that Beth knows and loves in no time and you’ll soon be running around with your children making great memories.
    Best wishes, Emma

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  3. Wishing you a speedy recovery I know that you are a positive person Along your drive and determination will give you a great chance to get back to a normal life with the family you adore

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  4. Sean .. such a shock to hear … your a fighter young man and a true Gent … stay strong … remembering that cute boy at East The Water, who was always my favourite (don’t tell the others!) hugs and love to you and yours.
    Shelley. (Miss May)

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  5. Everyone at West Croft is with you every step of the way Sean – a true inspiration to so many, you are so loved and missed at school! Stay strong and we all wish you a full and speedy recovery x x

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    1. Couldn’t believe this when Beth told us what had happened! Lee and I have been thinking of you. Absolutely smashing the walking in the latest video from Beth!! Love the blog idea x

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  6. Mr Downing, my children’s most favourite teacher !! . Westcroft School are so lucky to have you. Myself, Nick, Isla and Zach send you all the very best. You are the most positive and enthusiastic teacher I have ever met, I have no doubt that these qualities will speed your recovery. Even from your hospital bed you are encouraging and positive, keep fighting your fight. Your family must be so proud of you. Best wishes. Kat xx

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  7. Sean you are an amazing person and a true inspiration for so many. Your positivity and determination will help you through but I know the family you have will keep you focused, encouraged and on the right track. You are in our thoughts ever minute of every day and we can’t wait to come and see you. I wish we weren’t so far away but we are here for you throughout. Love to you and Beth and I look forward to reading more of your blog.
    Love Sarah and Rich

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  8. My man, absolute hero! Have been and always will be my biggest inspiration!! (You know who this is due to then name 🤣)

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  9. Mr Downing, Finnley really blossomed when he spent those weeks with you, he enjoyed coming to school and you were a brilliant, inspirational role model for him to look up to. We wish you all the best in your recovery x

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  10. Words fail me Sean. Your tenacity and positivity are a true inspiration to anyone who has the privilege to know you. The very best of wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

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  11. Get well soon Mr Downing, best teacher ever, sending our love and best wishes Dionne, Ryan and not forgetting little Lucy-Lu x x x

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  12. I love your honest and positive account of the chain of events that led you to where you are today.
    Bless you Sean, I will be praying for you.

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  13. Sean , You are so inspirational and so positive, keep fighting to a speedy recovery. All our thoughts are with you . Take care x

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  14. Love your positivity Sean. What a scary time for you all. We have been thinking of you and your family so much and are sending you all our love and positivity! You are amazing. Love from my family to you and yours xx

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  15. Love your positivity Sean. What a scary time for you all. We have been thinking of you and your family so much. Sending all our love and positive thoughts to you from my family to yours xx

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  16. Sean. So shocked to hear about this but good to see that you are beginning to make the steps to recovery. Try to keep positive. You’ve got fantastic family around and loads of people sending you best wishes. Take care and hope to see you soon. Adrian 👊

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    1. Great blog Sean but I’m so sorry to be reading this. Wishing you a speedy recovery mate. I’m sure you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
      Jack

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  17. So shocked to hear this my boys think ur the best teacher ever ur a credit to westcroft keep on fighting u will be back home in no time keep being positive take care & we hope to see u soon thinking of u & ur family love me Cameron tyler xx

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  18. So sorry to hear you’re not well Sean, but I’m 100% sure you’ll be much better very soon. I’ll keep reading your story if that’s okay. Lots of love to you, Beth, Henry, Bump, Jess, Ruthie and Rob. X x x x x

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  19. Sean your a inspiration my first thoughts when I heard what had happened was if anyone can come through this it would be you
    Love to you and your family
    X

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  20. Sean what an amazing thing to do. We are all missing your happy smiley face around school and your cheeky GIFs too! So lovely that even after all this you are still telling your tale in such a Seany way! You really are an inspiration and will be back on your feet in no time with your winning attitude. Take care of yourself, keep smiling and shout if there’s anything you need. Sending you lots of love Dawn x

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  21. Sending you love and hugs from all of the Edwards house hold, ollie who you taught at St Mary’s is sending you an extra big squeeze and Alex now 14 and 6ft 2, hopes you have a speedy recovery as wants you to know that you have always been his favourite teacher ❤️

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  22. Wow Sean, that’s a shock to read. I don’t very often click on links on Facebook but wondered what the pretty picture on cousin Dave’s post was about, I’m glad I did now though, what a shock. It’s no surprise to see your amazing positivity though, I wouldn’t have expected anything else! Sending best wishes and recovery thoughts to you and yours from the woods to you. Take care. Stuart (Mr Young!!)

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  23. You are amazing Sean. We all miss you so much and know that you will be bouncing around in no time. (PS – It’s very quiet without you!!!!) Take care. x

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  24. Sean- You know I think you’re fab and the children who are taught by you are blessed. We miss your smiley face and your cheeky humour. You will get yourself back to fighting fit, I have no doubt! With Beth, Henry and family helping you along the way. The blog is a great idea and will keep the clogs moving. Take care x

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  25. Great blog Sean, your such a inspiration to so many people. Keep strong an positive. Love to you an family xx

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  26. Sean,
    There are way too many left overs after lunch sitting. You need to make a speedy recovery and get back to munching second lunches!
    All at school missing that cheeky smile.
    Keep up those positive vibes.
    Xxx

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  27. Glad to hear that your unique brand of humour is still in tact. Wishing you a speedy recovery bud and look forward to the next installment. Matt

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  28. Glad to hear that your unique brand of humour is still very much in tact. Wishing you a speedy recovery and I look forward to your next installment. Matt

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  29. You are an absolute legend Seanie An inspiration to us all…..missingyour smile and your sense of humour mate ….just want to say we are getting bigger portions at lunch time lol!!! 6 chicken nugggetstomorrow luvs ya xxxx

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  30. So sorry to hear this news, but what a great idea this blog is! Good luck in your recovery, all the very best to you and your family. From Fleur and Eloise Phillips (3rd cousin three times removed backwards by marriage)! x

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  31. Never thought I’d get to read another piece of you’re work Sean but that’s the best and I’m looking forward to the next one. Picturing you stretching to get a toe to the ball on the edge of the circle in the English schools semi final to score the winner. You can do anything, it’s just a new challenge! Love to you and all the family.

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  32. Wishing you a speedy recovery. I bet you were gutted to miss roast day lol! your really are an amazing man and teacher. Starr loved being in your class.
    Sending you and your family love and best wishes
    Nicky

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  33. You are an absolute star Sean, your inspiration overwhelms me and makes me cry every time. You are a lovely man and colleague. Miss your happy smiling face. Be strong and fight back. Love to you, Beth and Henry xx

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  34. Ruby C from westcroft and family hope you are doing well and Ruby said she misses you.You are an inspirational teacher and always positive.

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  35. Mr downing im so sorry to hear this. Myself, Alistair and Taylor wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you soon back at Westcroft. Thinking of you and Sending lots of love.

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  36. Just wanted to let you know we’re thinking of you, and wish you all the best in your recovery.You were an amazing teacher/role model to Romero, and we will never forget how much you helped build his confidence and ease his anxieties.Have a speedy one,love from us all x

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  37. Hi Sean,Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.From the last of the summer wine crew(BAFC). Hoping for a speedy recovery.John,Doug,Colin and Martin

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  38. Sean you are the only person who could make me laugh with the details of when they had a stroke!! That is a mark of the person you are. So much to say and it all sounds trite in the circumstances so I will just send love and admiration from all the family and so many of your old teachers who have been totally shocked by what has happened. Looking forward to reading the next installment. Much love, Shirley Langford

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  39. Dear Sean,
    WOW! A great piece of writing and an excellent effort.
    This is easily a level 4 with elements of level 5. A “puddle splashing extravaganza” is a delightful turn of phrase.
    In order to achieve level 5 your next step is to introduce proper paragraphing (see my post so far) and try not to over-correct slang descriptions ie “like a sack of potatoes” does not have the same resonance as “sack of spuds”.
    However in these Covid times there are no formal examinations so I am asked to provide guidance on your ability and comment as to your future progress. In this circumstance , although you were not quite my favourite pupil (that accolade obviously goes to Meg) and, re football, I have to say John was a delight to coach, I will say I have yet to meet anyone with more “bottle” and inner strength and belief. I therefore have no hesitation in saying that you will get to level 5 writing very quickly and that you’ll fully triumph over your present more serious adversary as well.
    Come on Sean.
    Love to you and all the family.
    Dave

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  40. Dear Sean (the West Croft legend!!) You know how us Sawyers feel about you, I mean there’s not many teachers who are happy everyday, always call us awesome, get so enthusiastic over the dinner choice we make, can recite all the Pokemon AND love football!! Your teaching isn’t bad too 😉 The boys have asked to support Arsenal now to send you get well wishes and support (but Kev says that’s a step to far!!) Take it a day at a time and know that you have everyone’s love and support. You’re an absolute inspiration, you’ve got this! Love to you and your lovely, little family, Michelle and the Boys xx

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  41. You are so strong and surrounded by so much love. Keep doing what you’re doing mate, you’ve got this 💪🏻

    Debbie Mckenna Xxx

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  42. Hi Sean, absolutely shocked to the core when I heard about your stroke, as you said in your blog, your in the best hands, I’m sure with their help and guidance and the love of your family you will be fine. Hopefully we will see you back on your feet soon, stay strong mate x

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