Surviving a brain stem stroke

Message from Jeannie my wife


Its hard to believe that it’s eleven years  since Eddie had his stroke. Eleven years ago, at the start of March, Eddie was seriously ill, he was completely paralysed except for his eyelids, he could only communicate by blinking and his prognosis was not good. 


On the day we all returned from Dubai I was asked by the Dr what I wanted to happen if Eddie had another stroke or heart attack. I knew that what he was asking was do we resuscitate or not. My reply was “This is a man who walked up mountains” his consultant reply was “Well he won’t walk up mountains again”. How do you make the decision I was being asked to make. How do you sit with one of your children beside you and condemn him, the person you love most in the world, to death. From all that had already happened I felt drained, unable to make simple decisions like having a shower or what clothes to wear and here was this man asking me to make the hardest decision of my whole life. What went through my head was totally, totally selfish. I thought of my future caring for someone who was totally paralysed. He couldn’t stay in hospital forever. Our tiny home would become a hospital with me as the main carer. How could I possibly do it. At that moment I couldn’t. My thoughts then turned to Eddie, action man. A man who loved adventure, camping on the snow line in winter, skiing, canoeing, climbing, cycling, laughing, loving. And I said “he wouldn’t want to live like this” and in my head I said “and neither would I.” In the weeks that followed I was in a very dark place and we as a family even considered a trip to Dignitas.


However(my favourite word) if you have read the rest of Eddie’s blog you will know that Eddie’s recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. He can walk a few steps inside despite being in pain. He has been on holidays with The Calvert Trust where he is assisted to do many of the activities he did pre -stroke. Stroke recovery is unpredictable and doctors have to work with that and manage peoples expectations but, happily, His got it wrong because in 2013, with a team around him, Eddie walked up the last 500 metres of Mam Tor in Derbyshire. A journey that normally takes 20 minutes took him 3 hours, but he did it.


In March 2011,  during a call from Eddies cousin Marcin in Poland, he told me of an old Polish saying “The last thing I will give up is HOPE”.

You may be reading this simply out of interest but you may be reading this as someone for whom the future seems very dark. My prayer for you is that you hear the still small voice whispering hope. 


Soft as the voice of an angel
Breathing a lesson unheard
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers a comforting word

Wait, till the darkness is over
Wait, till the tempest is done
Hope, for the sunshine tomorrow
After the darkness is gone


Whispering hope 
Oh how welcome Thy voice 
Making my heart 
In its sorrow rejoice


If in the dusk of the twilight
Dimmed be the region afar
Will not the deepening darkness
Brighten the glittering star?

Then, when the night is upon us
Why should the heart sink away?
When the dark midnight is over
Watch for the breaking of day


Whispering hope
Oh how welcome Thy voice 
Making my heart
In its sorrow rejoice


Jeannie Pleban 03/03/22


Ten years ago today 06.02.11 I had my stroke.

11 years ago today I had my stroke, after all the bleak outcomes the medical world gave me and my family I'm still here and fighting fit, well sort of, here is to the nex 20 years.


My latest painting. See my art page for further photos.

As the title suggests I am a stroke survivor not a stroke victim, this blog is a story of my journey since February 6th 2011 starting with an account of my time in hospital and of my time in Rehab then my on going recovery at home, it is intended to encourage both stroke Survivors and Carers alike.
I was planning to write a book, however,there are many out there and as I don't wish to make any money out of my story which may prevent some from experiencing Gods Glory and healing powers I have chosen this media as the format for showing the world what its like to be a survivor relying on the Blessings of God, family and for support.
My web name comes from my friends on the 'Different Strokes' face book they nick named me Bantam Eddie because of the three young bantam chickens that have came into my life, sadley I had to give them up but, i kept my blog name.
I dedicate this story to my wife and family who loved and supported me though the most horrifying time of our life, to my friends who prayed for us throughout my recovery and still do, to the medical staff and flight crew who worked effortlessly to save my life and to the rehab team for the work they did and are still dedicated to my recovery and to God who intervened and rescued me from death itself and carried me through the trauma of recovering from a brain stem stroke.




I know that many Stroke Survivors, carers and loved ones were told or were warned by consultants and other professionals in the early days of stroke that “you may never walk, talk, swallow “etc. these days I've come to understand why, if we were told that we will fully recover when knowing that we wouldn't would be foolish and dishonest of the practitioners.

I like many others was given a bleak outlook for my future and to be prepared for a life with disabilities which caused me to be very sad and down for a short while, eventually I began to accept my stroke and the disabilities it has left me with, however, I could not and would not accept the prognosis.

Let me try to encourage you by saying there is a new world out there to discover, though I cannot drive any more and my walking is ver poor I see and visit more places than I would have if I driving. over the years I've climbed my mountain, carried the Olympic torch, flown back to Australia, I independently travel in my Power chair on busses and trains, stay in hotels, visited many places in the Uk i.e. London, Newmarket, Stratford, the Lake Distric, Keilder Forres, Exmouth and many more places.

Life doesn't need to be just an existence it's an exploration there are so many things out there that can give you something to live for and enjoy.

Try not to allow yourself to get stuck in in that “I’ll never be able to do that again” mode, it isn’t an easy journey but the World is your Oyster so get out there and explore it. 



My very first ride on a horse,ever you can tell its not going to by favourite activity. Further photos and thoughts on Eddies the dare devil page.


25. Jan, 2017
I am aware that some power or manual chair users have needs that affect their ability to travel alone, however I hope to show carers and loved ones that all the places that are accessible to me will be accessible to you as an escort.
This page is about my journeys in my power chair or scooter. I often hear that getting about in a power chair can be difficult, some times it is depending where you are i.e. town, city, country side or country.
Again this section is pictorial and shows that someone in a chair can travel where ever they like.
Rockingham beach WA
You can see our latest Trip to Australia where I took my own power chair Eddies independent travel.
SEPTEMBER 2014 at the base of Canigou, South France. One of the best days of my life, for years now I have wanted to climb Canigou in the South of France, as you know my stroke has put pay to this kind of extreme climbing, however, I managed to get to the base in what can be still described as extreme. Watch this.
31.07.2014 I feel rather pleased with myself, I've just cut the grass with only three rest pauses and I didn't drag my chair behind me.


I am sitting here in the conservatory enjoying the sun shine and blue sky's yes blue sky's the storm has passed, but, while thinking it came back to me the memories of lying there unable to move the seconds, minutes, hours, days months yes months six in all, having my bum cleaned by young ladies, unable to eat, drink, talk, couldn't ring the bell when in pain, staff talking over you when cleaning you, staff not taking the time to learn to use the ETRAN communication board, being hoisted, rolled, meds stuck up your bum, blood taken daily and from anywhere they could find a vein etc. but like I said I am now sitting enjoying the sun and life in general waiting to go to McDonalds with grand daughter.</p>

Every mans Tonka toy dream.
From being told that I may never walk, talk, swallow etc again, here I am fulfilling a dream in Australia with my grandchildren.
Sitting in the drivers seat of the truck

Mindvalley 16.08.2019 05:19

Nice article.Really you write wonderful stuff. Your post looks great. Thanks for sharing!

Muzaila 03.08.2019 09:23

Interesting videos. Rockingham Beach is the best for summer travel.I have been there before my and had fun

benard morris 23.07.2019 10:31

i would recommend him to anyone in need of help to treat Stroke and any other Cronic disease. visit "Dr kpomosa home of relief" on Facebook for how to treat.

anonymous 10.07.2019 10:27

Hi Eddie, your blog is very interesting and loves to tell you that have read while Washington dc visits I must say keep sharing

Ernest 29.05.2019 06:26

Am still amazed and proud of me brother.
And glad that God has given him the strength to soldier on.
He is a great role model for me, thanks brother xxx

Katrin Tattersall 17.11.2017 19:33

This is the first time reading a blog loved it my stroke was 2 years ago with 4 boys under 13 it's hard but you have given me anew outlook on my new life

Linda PetersS 07.10.2017 19:30

This post can be encouraged by many people for stock patients because this post will more steps for more serious patients....

lucy bakers 27.09.2017 18:58

Suffering from chronic disease(stroke) is a Terrible Experience that i would not even wish it for my enemy.
it was terrible for my dad ,things where very bad ,

Nick Clarke 06.02.2017 12:49

Eddie, this is great stuff, absolutely brilliant and hope that you inspire lots of others impacted by Stroke - a bit similar to what I do - www.strokeinformatio

Margot Hitchcock 05.07.2016 03:14

hi Eddie thanx for sharing your story with other stroke survivors.. your comments on our stroke Facebook site - Strokes Suck Australia - are inspiring. Margot x

Steve 03.03.2016 20:07

You are a true inspiration... sometimes I fear I don't fully appreciate how awesome you are. So happy that you are inspiring and providing hope to so many!

Mike Druce 22.11.2015 21:35


Terri Rae Cerna 03.08.2015 19:04

Eddie, I am sitting here in Arizona truly inspired by your story!! My prayer is that my amazing and strong father Papa Dave can one day tell his story. ThankYou

Sylvia Wesley 31.07.2015 12:50

Hi Eddie,
Just seen your blog with Beth and she said that you are an inspiration to yourself and to others. Keep up the good work.
See you next week.

Lynn 12.06.2015 17:04

Hi Eddie,

My dad had a brain stem stroke 2 months ago. He hasn't regain his awareness and we were losing hope until we saw your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Cathy Thomas 31.07.2015 14:25

Hi Lynn, my Hubby Andy had a brain stem stroke on the 9th September 2014. He was unconscious for 5 weeks in ITU.He is doing brilliantly now. Have faith xxx

Michael 12.06.2015 16:34

I never knew you had a Brain Stem Stroke, same here, 2011, I certainly didn't enjoy Hospital or the Rehab. unit. You are doing well for yourself.

Kate Holvey 13.03.2015 23:46

Wow Eddie.. Having had the pleasure of seeing you again on Thursday after months, you truly are inspirational. Can we have a table on 5th at forum?

Eddie 14.03.2015 14:46

Hi Kate I need your contact details

Ernest Pleban 01.10.2014 21:18

My wonderful brother. "Oh taste and see, how gracious the Lord is. Blessed is the man, that trusteth in Him" ( R. V. Williams) Love you Brother.XXX

Gus Hawes 01.10.2014 14:32

Hi, bud. Good to see u still up for it. By the way we have something more in common I am now retired. Well another mule stone, not round my necj I hope.

Jackie Kift 05.09.2014 22:25

Hello Eddie and Jeannie,
Having just read your blog, we realise what an amazing couple we have staying with us here in Ille-sur-Tet, France. Humbling! J and N

Steve George 09.08.2014 20:29

Hi Eddie, Congrats! This Blog is brill! I hope I can make one to. Buy the way are you going to this year's Conference? Should be a good one! Cheers.Steve George

Eddie Pleban 14.03.2014 17:18

Thank you Sarah

sarah hrding 14.03.2014 16:50

amazing eddie well done keep on keeping on :) <3 03.12.2013 20:31

great blog you are an inspiration to other

Eddie 03.12.2013 20:39

Thanks for the kind words

Jessica 23.11.2013 19:40

You are a great inspiration reading your story has been a blessing. My brother is 39 and just suffered his second stroke and it has affected his brain stem.

Cliff Surtees 23.11.2013 11:21

Well done Eddie. Will see u in December. Keep it up.

Jonathan Leavitt 12.07.2013 17:25

Hello, I love your blog and am very impressed at all you do. I wanted to thank you for registering at my blog, survivorjon. It is very nice to meet you and I lo

Ernest 26.06.2013 20:11

Am right proud of you giving your time to help others and being a Living one. My blessed brother Ed.

Margaret and Peter 26.06.2013 08:59

So proud of you Eddie. Lovely article to read. Tears in my eyes. When or where is your next challenge? If it is closer can I come along too? Margaret and Peter

Donna Wakeling 26.06.2013 03:47

Well done Eddie and everyone that went on the climb,you all are an inspiration :)

tracy 30.05.2013 00:00

climbing wow i dont even walk i am a survivor aswell o9 was my stroke at age 39 bad bleed improvements are very little you are very blessed

Eddie 30.05.2013 08:06

Thank you Tracy

Mike Proko 26.05.2013 22:15

Good goin', Eddie

Eddie 27.05.2013 06:48

Thank you Mike, it's no where near finished yet as my next challenge has to be added then the next.

paul n zoe hibbins.(riverside caravan park) 17.02.2013 20:31

hi eddie im sure yuo will have lots of company for your climb up mam torr but zoe,myself and the dogs would love to accompany you Paul n Zoe blade n milly

Eddie 27.05.2013 06:45

We will be staying at the ramblers frid. Night. stating at car p, near blue John just below mam Tor. It will be lovely to see you

Susan Szumanski 16.02.2013 00:06

Thanks for Sharing your story ..Eddie :)..

Eddie 27.05.2013 06:52

Susan I've only found out that I can reply to messages on my web site thank you very much for taking time to read it. My next challenge is

Amanda Breckenridge 15.02.2013 14:44

Nice Eddie love your page :))

Eddie 27.05.2013 06:56

Amanda sorry but I have only found out that I can respond to messages on my web, thank you

Debbie Wilson 12.02.2013 12:21

This is so awesome, what an amazing blessing you are! I am honored to have met you Eddie! Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with me and so many others!

Eddie 27.05.2013 07:00

Hi Deb sorry but I've only found out that I can respond on my site so thank you for reading, my next challenge is

Ernest Pleban 03.02.2013 15:01

You've seen the light our Edward. These words you have written above, are from one who has.

Eddie 27.05.2013 07:02

Ernest sorry for not responding I didn't know you could till today, my next challenge is

hardeep 21.12.2012 13:10

love the title of survivor not a victim....

Eddie 27.05.2013 07:05

Hi Hardeep, as above I didn't know that I could respond to your message, thank you my next challenge is

Danny Gordon 18.12.2012 19:33

Well said, Eddie. I hope you enjoyed the DVD.

Eddie 27.05.2013 07:08

Thank Danny for reading my web page, I certainly enjoyed it and copied it for others to see.

Gail Merini 17.11.2012 06:41

It was an honour & a privilege to meet you at Perth Airport-have the photo of you and your wife on my phone...will send it when l figure out how to.Regards Gail

Eddie 27.05.2013 07:11

Gail I have only found out that I can respond to messages on my web page so thank you for reading it, my next challenge is

BARBARA - FAI Air Ambulance 14.11.2012 12:30

Dear Eddie, there are not enough words to describe my happiness seeing how well you have recovered! Big hug from Dubai! Barbara

Eddie 27.05.2013 07:14

Hi Barbra, sorry but I've just found out that I can respond on my web page so thank you for reading it my next challenge is

Danny 13.11.2012 11:49

Eddie, great blog mate. The important question? Have you watched the DVD yet?

Ernest 21.08.2012 17:07

Am so proud of you Ed and I knew from the minute you took ill that a greater power would ensure your recovery by being present in you, where it has been always

Stephen King 15.08.2012 10:12

Glad you are doing so well! Keep it up

Tracy Indiana 29.12.2012 19:31

wonderful blog and recovery keep it up cant wait to see what lies aheadfor you may God be with you to help meet allof your dreams he is faithful

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Latest comments

29.01 | 10:30

Very inspiring

27.01 | 07:33

I can see a rapid improvement as I scroll through these Eddie.
Well done you

09.09 | 04:40

Thanks for the post, great tips and information which is useful for all.

16.08 | 05:19

Nice article.Really you write wonderful stuff. Your post looks great. Thanks for sharing!

29.01 | 10:30

Very inspiring

27.01 | 07:33

I can see a rapid improvement as I scroll through these Eddie.
Well done you

09.09 | 04:40

Thanks for the post, great tips and information which is useful for all.

16.08 | 05:19

Nice article.Really you write wonderful stuff. Your post looks great. Thanks for sharing!