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Mandy Hathway


Mandy had a stroke at just twenty years of age. Her film underlines the fact that strokes don’t just happen in later life, they can happen to anybody, at any age and at any time. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is shut off, without blood the brain cells die and this results in a brain injury. This year almost 3,000 people in Norfolk will have a stroke. This film underlines some of the hidden impacts of a brain injury and how understanding is key to learning to live with it.


Today Mandy is a support worker at our Norwich centre. Having lived with the impact of brain injury on her own life she has a great deal of experience to bring to others. She has developed a memory tool kit. The tool kit doesn’t change her brain injury, but it does give her a whole range of tactics and approaches to managing everyday life tasks which can be of significant benefit to anybody living with a brain injury.This toolkit is just one of a number of interventions, developed through working with those who have a lived experience, that Headway Norfolk & Waveney use to provide support. 


Mandy is pictured below with her husband Ben, who did not know her before her stroke. Having married Ben, and lived for almost 25 years with the impact of her stroke, it was only when she found Headway Norfolk & Waveney and started working with our Occupational Therapy team that Mandy was able to fully understand what had happened to her.


‘Making this film has finally allowed me to be able to explain my own experience. People have their own perceptions of what a stroke is and what is does. It is different for everybody. Headway Norfolk & Waveney have helped me to understand my own stroke and I am so pleased to be able to share this with others through this film.’