Thrill-seeking borough councillor Richard Austin is back to business and describing himself as “supercharged” just a few weeks after suffering a stroke which left him needing a two-and-a-half-hour operation.
The 81-year-old Wyberton councillor suffered multiple haemorrhages and surgeons had to operate on his neck to open up his carotid artery to improve the flow of blood to his brain.
Richard is known for his big-adrelanine lifestyle and he celebrated his 80th birthday with a skydive.
He was working at home on his i-Pad when he collapsed to the floor after getting up from his desk.
He said at first he couldn’t understand why his left leg would not work and then thought he may have suffered a stroke when he found he could not move his left arm either.
Fortunately his wife, Alison, a borough and county councillor, was at home and called for an ambulance.
“If it had been the day before I could be in a wheelchair now,” said Richard. “I had been at home alone all day working in the garden.”
He had been instructed to continue talking throughout the operation as surgeons opened up his neck and artery.
“With the anaesthetic it was like trying to talk when your mouth has been frozen at the dentists. I bored the nurses to death talking about my family, my life story, my passions, the church, Boston Woods, the Boston marathon which I chair and the history of Boston. I didn’t quite get to the end of everything I had in mind,” he joked.
He praised the surgeons and staff at the Pilgrim, who he said were marvellous. “They have improved the blood flow to my brain, so now I am supercharged,” he said.
After a four-day stay in hospital, and a 28-day driving ban, he has been declared fighting fit and is back to normal, with just a fading telltale scar down the side of his neck.
“My stroke came on very suddenly, but it demonstrates that when this happens and a stroke is suspected, you don’t hang around. This is a 999 emergency because time is of the essence. I was very lucky.”