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Richard 'supercharged' after suffering a stroke

Livewire borough councillor Richard Austin now says he has been "supercharged" - and that's AFTER suffering a stroke.

The energetic councillor for Wyberton is back on his feet and back to business  just a few weeks after a paralysing stroke which necessitated a two-and-a-half hour operation.

Surgeons at the Pilgrim Hospital operated on his neck to open up his carotid artery to improve the flow of blood to his brain after he suffered multiple haemorrhages.

Richard (81), who celebrated his 80th birthday with a daredevil skydive, 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 spoke matter-of-factly about the two-and-a-half hour operation he underwent under local anaesthetic. 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."

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Richard gives a thumbs-up as he celebrates his 80th birthday with a sky dive, and back on terra firma with his tandem-jump partner

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