TV Highlights

EastEnders' Patrick Trueman to suffer stroke

EastEnders' Patrick Trueman is to suffer a major stroke.

The BBC One soap will raise awareness for the severe medical condition and its debilitating consequences in a new ongoing storyline and has worked closely with stroke survivors and leading charities for the plot.

Viewers will follow Patrick - played by Rudolph Walker - throughout the entire experience, from his initial symptoms, to suffering a stroke, and then dealing with the aftermath of the life-changing medical condition.

Rudolph said: ''This is a truly important storyline as strokes affect so many different people, in so many different ways. We are all working very hard on this and I really hope Patrick's story can help raise awareness.''

'EastEnders' executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: ''This is an important storyline in so many ways. Not only does it give the wonderful Rudolph Walker the chance to shine, but we also hope it will raise awareness of the warning signs that come before a stroke and the difficulties of caring for the elderly in 21st Century Britain''.

Producers are working closely with charities such as the Stroke Association and stroke survivors to ensure the storyline is accurate and handled with sensitivity.

Joe Korner, director of external affairs at the Stroke Association, said: ''Many people will be able to identify with this storyline, including the 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK. A stroke can leave people facing the rest of their lives with a disability, and the emotional strain caused by the condition can be devastating

''We're thrilled that Rudolph Walker is taking on this challenging role and are very pleased to have been able to offer our advice and support with the plot development. We hope that Patrick's experiences will raise awareness amongst viewers particularly of the symptoms of a mini-stroke, which include facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, and last for a short period of time. It's a warning sign that a stroke could be on the way, yet thousands of people dismiss a mini-stroke as 'just a funny turn'. It's a medical emergency and anyone with those symptoms should call 999 immediately. Anyone who'd like to find out more about stroke can visit www.stroke.org.uk.''

18-06-2014

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07-07-2011