Device helps Kettering stroke victim rebuild his life

Justin Ashton
Justin Ashton

A 39-year-old father-of-two from Kettering is rebuilding his life thanks to modern technology after having a stroke.

Electrician Justin Ashton was driving to work when he had his stroke. He spent two weeks in hospital and another six months in rehabilitation.

An active man before the incident, he said: “I thought my life was over.

“I was unable to even sit up by myself and had to re-learn all the simple tasks you take for granted.

“I was a fit and active 33-year-old when I suffered the stroke; I loved my job as an electrician.

“When I was unable to get out of bed it was devastating.”

Despite his rehabilitation, Justin suffered from foot drop, which is the inability to raise the foot due to a weakness in , or paralysis, of the dorsiflexor muscles in the leg and foot.

He has now gained his mobility after being one of the first people in the UK to be fitted with a Functional Electrical Stimulation system that helps correct his gait by lifting his foot and supporting his knee movement.

Developed by mobility experts Ottobock, the MyGait system uses functional electrical stimulation to revive a patient’s nervous system and lift the foot.

Justin said: “When I did a trial the sensation was comfortable and made walking natural. I was so overcome with emotion due to going from having no hope, to believing that my life could get back on track.

“I was lucky enough to have friends who raised the money to fund the product and treatment for me.”