Bristol race car driver drives again after stroke

  • By Clara Bullock and Sacha Bigwood
  • bbc news

image source, Eddie Ruskin


Yate’s Eddie Ruskin had a stroke in 2014 that left him with paralysis on his left side

A racing driver who suffered a stroke said he felt he had “got his life back” by working as a driving instructor for people with disabilities.

Yate’s Eddie Ruskin had a stroke in 2014 that left him with paralysis on his left side.

Since recovering, Ruskin has earned an advanced driver’s license, the level police are required to train at.

“I was successful in being able to drive again, which has given me my life back,” Ruskin said.

“Normally, there’s only a 50/50 chance of driving after a stroke, and it meant the world to me.”

Ruskin was at work when he had a stroke.

image source, Eddie Ruskin


Mr. Ruskin gives driving lessons to people with disabilities at Able Driving Academy

“I was alone in the workshop in the dark and the cold,” he said.

Realizing that an ambulance would not meet him there, he forced himself to drive home, and his wife called an ambulance.

At first, the medical team couldn’t believe that he had managed to drive home.

“I’ve driven a lot in my life, building kit cars when I was 20 and spending 16 years on the race track,” Ruskin told BBC Radio Bristol.

“They think that because I had so many neurological connections in my brain to drive, that’s the only reason I was able to make that trip.”

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‘You feel isolated’

Since recovering from his stroke, Mr. Ruskin has taught driving to people with disabilities at Able Driving Academy.

He also gives talks for the charity Bristol After Stroke about how he learned to drive again after his stroke.

“After a stroke you feel really isolated, you feel like you’re the only person,” Ruskin said.

“When you come to Bristol After Stroke, you realize that there are many people like you with challenges and that you are no longer isolated.”

Rebecca Sheehy, chief executive of the charity, said having a stroke can change people’s lives and the charity exists to support people during their recovery.

“It happens overnight, one minute you’re out of the house, having a normal life, and the next day your life is completely turned upside down,” he said.

The charity offers peer support and counseling alongside people’s recovery.


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