September 20, 2016, by Emma Thorne
Stroke survivor creates lasting legacy
A stroke campaigner has launched a charitable foundation to help improve the lives of stroke survivors and their families. The Ossie Newell Foundation will fund important research into stroke rehabilitation at The University of Nottingham.
Ossie Newell MBE, a retired director of AMEC Plc, a large multi-national project management and construction services group, suffered a stroke in 1999 leaving him permanently disabled on the right side of his body. He was treated at the Queen’s Medical Centre and since then has dedicated his time and efforts to campaigning for improvements to stroke services. In 2009 he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Launching the foundation in front of his friends, family and former colleagues at the University’s Lakeside Arts Centre, Ossie said: “Although tremendous strides have been made in stroke care over the past decade the same is not true for the rehabilitation of patients following a stroke. For stroke survivors like myself, the path to recovery is long, hard and painful. We depend on people we have never met to care for us and help us recover. In addition to the remarkable people who cared for me there are others that I have never met, who directly or indirectly through stroke research have given me back a fulfilling life.”
The Foundation seeks to fund at least one PhD student a year to carry out research into stroke rehabilitation. It aims to raise an initial £200,000 that would enable the foundation to recruit three candidates.
Ossie added: “We need more high quality and robust research into stroke and stroke rehabilitation. We need to be able to recruit the best research graduates we can find in order to improve the lives of so many people who have suffered a stroke.
“I have set up the Ossie Newell Foundation to try and contribute to this research and to recognise the debt of gratitude I owe to those people who have helped me on a long, hard, but ultimately lifesaving and life fulfilling journey.”
Professor Sir David Greenway, Vice Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “I have known Ossie for many years and have been inspired by his energy, commitment and desire to make a difference. This foundation is just another example of his vision and determination and I look forward to helping it realise the ambition Ossie has set.”
In 2006 following the merger of the two City and QMC hospitals, a four-ward stroke unit was created at City Hospital. Ossie was instrumental in supporting the creation of the new unit and when the wards were renamed, one, Newell Ward, was renamed in recognition of Ossie’s work.
Peter Homa, Chief Executive of NUH, said: “Through his work as a stroke champion Ossie has been inspirational to both stroke patients and staff. His contributions over many years have been instrumental to the development of stroke services and research. Knowing Ossie the way I do I have absolutely no doubt that he will make the Foundation a long and lasting success.”
In 2013 Ossie received an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Nottingham and until recently was Joint Chair of the Stroke Research Partnership Group at the University.
To find out more about the Ossie Newell Foundation, visit www.ossienewellfoundation.co.uk.