Community acts to help family after dad, 43, has a stroke
Wayne Bryant with wife Jill and children Jack and Molly
THE community is rallying round to support a popular Mangotsfield man who remains in hospital after suffering a massive stroke.
Wayne Bryant, whose nickname is Pasquale, was rushed to Southmead Hospital on December 5 following the attack which came on without warning.
Initially doctors didn't think he was going to pull through but Wayne is now showing signs of recovery, although he is still being cared for in a high-dependency unit.
The 43-year-old, who lives with wife Jill, son Jack, 16, and daughter Molly, 13, now faces a long battle, with doctors still unsure of his long-term prognosis.
Friends of the family, many from Mangotsfield Community Association and Cleve RFC where Wayne is a member, have leaped to offer their support, setting up a JustGiving page and organising a weekend fundraiser in April.
Money raised will go towards rehabilitation and mobility equipment to help Wayne's recovery.
Family friend Sandra Stone said: “Everyone who knows Wayne is really shocked. It was just out of the blue.
“Wayne is great fun to be around. He's reliable and dependable and is a devoted family man.His children are quite sporty and he's always there supporting them. It's affected them massively but they are both being strong for their mum. Jill has been amazing, she's an incredibly strong woman and is doing a fantastic job juggling everything.”
The attack happened the evening before the family were due to move to Keynsham after living in Mangotsfield for more than 20 years.
Wayne had no warning and, although he experienced jaw ache, a common symptom of a stroke, believed it was just toothache.
Sandra, who lives in Mangotsfield with husband Simon and sons, Dan, 15, and Luke, 14, said: “It happened all of a sudden. His whole side just slipped. They phoned an ambulance which luckily only took 10 minutes and he was rushed to hospital.
“On the Saturday Wayne had a bleed on the brain so had to have an operation. He wasn't given a particularly high chance of survival but he has fought back and is still with us. He's still in a high-dependency unit and still can't speak. He's struggling to swallow on his own and is still paralysed on one side.”
Sandra said Wayne is having physio every day and once he can sit up and support himself he will go on to a stroke ward where he will receive more intense physio. Once doctors are happy with his progress, it is hoped Wayne will be sent to the brain injury unit at Frenchay.
Sandra said: “It's a very long road ahead but staff have been fantastic. The prognosis is still unknown. It could be as mild as a lisp and a limp or he could be paralysed – we've no way of knowing at the moment. They won't be even be able to start evaluating that until the swelling on the brain has gone down which could take months.”
Wayne, a contracts manager for Priddy, will be supported by a fundraising weekend organised by Mangotsfield Community Association. The Mango to Milano 24 hour spin bike challenge will take place over the Easter weekend of April 11-12 at the Red Lion pub in Mangotsfield.
People are being encourage to sign up for a 15 minute slot, to ensure they cover the distance between Mangotsfield and Milan, which is more than 900 miles. Wayne's children have been allocated the first time slot. The event will include bands, DJs and a donation barbecue.
People can make a donation online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wayne-bryant
Sandra said: “Jill is aware of what we are doing and just can't believe how kind and generous everyone is being. She wants to send out a massive thank you to everyone who is getting involved.
“We've had an amazing response already and want to keep the momentum going. The money will go towards rehabilitation equipment and whatever the family needs in order to get Wayne back on his feet, cheering on his kids on the sidelines again.”