Swallow Awareness: Michael’s Story

16th March 2022

Michael had a large stroke in 2021 which resulted in severe dysphagia. The Speech and Language Therapy team worked with Michael in both the Ulster Hospital and after discharge to the Community Stroke Team. In the first weeks after his stroke he was initially unable to eat and drink safely so he had a Nasogastric tube inserted through his nose to his stomach to feed him. He had intensive swallow therapy and was able to start eating and drinking small amounts of thickened drinks and pureed food. Once he was able to eat larger amounts his Nasogastric tube was removed.

At the beginning Michael found his swallow therapy very difficult; both because of how significantly his swallow had been affected and also because he was extremely tired, a common after effect of a stroke. His goal was to be able to eat a cheeseburger and he was determined to reach this!

When he left the Ulster Hospital he was able to drink normal drinks and eat minced and moist food. His swallow continued to improve and he is now able to eat and drink normal food and drinks. It has been wonderful to see Michael’s journey from being unable to eat or drink anything to hearing him talk about his Christmas dinner.

For more information on Dysphagia you can visit: https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/directorates/nursing-and-allied-health-professions/allied-health-professions-and-personal-and-3