Page last updated at 18:35 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 19:35 UK

Stroke cures man's failing sight

A grandfather has described how a massive stroke "miraculously" cured his failing sight, but cost him his ability to speak French.

Malcolm Darby, 70, of Oakham, Rutland, had worn glasses since measles damaged his sight at the age of two.

But after waking from surgery to remove a blood clot following a stroke last year, he said he found he had near-perfect vision.

Experts say the side-effects of the stroke are "unusual".

The stroke left Mr Darby paralysed and unable to speak.

Before the stroke I could speak French and now I just can't get a word of it out
Malcolm Darby

But when a nurse walked past he realised he could read the words on a newspaper under her arm, which he would have been unable to do without one of six pairs of glasses beforehand.

He said: "I realised I could watch television without my glasses. Now I only use one pair of reading glasses if I'm trying to read and it's dark."

Mr Darby is now able to talk again and walks four miles a day.

He said: "I'm on the mend now so every cloud has a silver lining, especially with getting my sight back.

"But before the stroke I could speak French and now I just can't get a word of it out."

Joanne Murphy, research liaison officer at the Stroke Association, said: "The effects of a stroke will depend on what part of the brain has been injured.

"We often hear about stroke survivors who have double vision or lose half of their field of vision.

"But it is unusual to hear of someone whose vision has got better following a stroke.

"However, we do hear about survivors who have developed new skills after their stroke."

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