Burnley family hit by devastating stroke helped by Lancashire Carers Service

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
It was just an ordinary Friday night like any other when the Readfearn family's lives changed forever.

Manufacturing manager Les Readfearn (68) was relaxing at home in Burnley and his wife Linda, 67, was chatting on the phone to a friend nine years ago.

Les said: "Life was good, things were ticking along nicely. I had a well-paid job as a manufacturing manager, which involved travelling to Malaysia to set up a production line. I was about to travel out there again."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But all of a sudden, he heard shouts and words that would change their lives irrevocably – "Mum's having a stroke."

Les and Linda Readfearn, of Burnley, who have received vital support from the Lancashire Carers Service.Les and Linda Readfearn, of Burnley, who have received vital support from the Lancashire Carers Service.
Les and Linda Readfearn, of Burnley, who have received vital support from the Lancashire Carers Service.

The dad-of-three and grandad-of-four said:

"It came as a complete shock to us. It was just a normal Friday night, she was on the phone to a friend and within minutes my daughter shouted to me, ‘Mum’s having a stroke’.”

Emergency services were called, and a six-month stint in hospital followed. Linda survived, and Les became her full-time carer, giving up work.

However, a glimmer of hope was offered when he discovered the Lancashire Carers Service.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We plan our days around Linda, as due to her medication she sleeps around 14 hours a day, so we do everything between the hours of 12pm to 7pm.

"We go out every day and make the most of the time we have. Our relationship has changed and evolved into something different. To some degree, you’re trying to be a husband and a carer and that’s sometimes difficult. It affects everything.

"I feel I manage that quite well, but for some people, I think it must just totally change the way they interact with their loved ones."

Read More
15 photos of fitness fans enjoying a sunny Burnley parkrun

Vital help available to the couple includes support with emergency planning in case Les is unable to care for Linda, volunteering opportunities, and various social activities.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Les says the Lancashire Carers Service has been a huge help in supporting the couple deal with some of the uncertainties and daily challenges they faced.

"Being a part of the Lancashire Carers Service has helped take away some of the ‘what ifs’ and replaced it with some reassurance if an emergency did occur. I get a carers' budget and find this payment once a year fantastic as I use it for the football.

"I also now volunteer for the Lancashire Carers Service and have been doing this for the past three to four years. This has been extremely rewarding and given me a break from my caring role for four hours a week."

The Lancashire Carers Service is shining a light on Carers' Week 2024.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Commissioned by Lancashire County Council, the Lancashire Carers Service provides information, advice and guidance to carers as well as social activities such as coffee and chat events, and assists with emergency planning and also runs a help and talk chat line which is run by carers.

It also supported 21,630 carers across Lancashire during the last financial year 2023/2024.

For further information and support on the Lancashire Carers Advocacy Support, contact 0300 012 0231 or [email protected]