After surviving three strokes, Chris is enjoying boating and making new friends as a member of Cowes Sailability Club

In 2020, my wife, Lorraine, and I decided to move from Guernsey to the Isle of Wight.  We looked forward to commencing our early retirement and making a fresh start on a different island.  However, not long after we arrived, and while we were still looking for a property to buy, I suffered three strokes in quick succession in May 2021.

All our plans had to be put on hold while I recovered, and we had to start thinking differently about our future.  My long rehabilitation, including having to learn to walk again, has been very tough, both physically and mentally.  I am now much improved, but the strokes have affected my mobility, eyesight and sensory abilities and I get quickly and easily fatigued.  I remain unsteady on my feet, and use both a walking stick and a wheelchair.

Lorraine encouraged me to join Cowes Sailability Club at the beginning of the 2022 season, and it has been fantastic!  I have particularly enjoyed going on motorboating trips organised by the club.  I have had a go at helming a motorboat, and the experience of being on the water always lifts my spirits.

I particularly enjoy seeing the pleasure that boating and sailing trips bring to other people with disabilities, especially children.  Cowes Sailability Club’s motto is ‘putting smiles on faces’, and I have seen this first hand.  When people of all ages go out on boats, everyone comes back with a big smile.  I know I do!

As well as going on boat trips, Lorraine and I have been to social events organised by Cowes Sailability Club including the summer barbecue.  We always enjoy going to the club and joining in with everything.  The volunteers and other members are lovely people who are nice to talk to.  We feel very welcome.

Chris Tippett