Stroke survivor Martin backs charity’s Christmas appeal

Rich Sanders and Martin Otter

Rich Sanders and Martin Otter - Credit: Archant

Martin Otter from Paignton, is supporting the Stroke Association’s ‘Hope After Stroke’ Christmas appeal, after surviving a life-threatening stroke.

Martin, 58, had a stroke in March 2018 which left him unable to swallow, talk and paralysed down the right side of his body.

Martin’s partner, Rich Sanders, was there when Martin had the stroke. Rich recalls: “There were no warning signs that something bad was about to happen the night Martin had the stroke. We were having dinner one evening, and Martin seemed his usual self. All of a sudden he collapsed to the floor. In hospital doctors were brutally honest when they let us know it was touch-and-go.

“But it wouldn’t be Martin if he didn’t defy the odds and fight through.”

Martin spent four days in Torbay Hospital, and two and a half weeks in Newton Abbot Hospital. Martin said: “ I vividly remember one evening when Rich brought his laptop and we looked through photographs together. We are keen photographers and to begin with I struggled to remember the places and photographs Rich was showing me on the laptop, but gradually over the following weeks and months the memories came flooding back to me. I was able remember where we were, and it even helped me to say more words. At this moment I had an overwhelming glimmer of hope

“Although I still can’t hold the actual camera yet, I can now use a special remote control and a tripod to take photographs again.”

Martin and Rich were supported by the Stroke Association, and have since become Ambassadors for the charity. Rich said: “Martin has always led a busy life. He was a very well-known and popular Funeral Director in the local community, for some 24 years. The stroke initially left Martin in a wheelchair, which he found really difficult to come to terms with. But as Martin began to get stronger, he wanted to do something to give back to the charity. “

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Martin and Rich are asking people to make a donation to the Stroke Association’s work supporting survivors and their families, as they rebuild their lives this Christmas.

To donate or for more information visit