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Double stroke survivor – real life resilience building

Matthew Radley was diagnosed with cavernoma after falling seriously ill with a variety of distressing symptoms. He has suffered two strokes as a result of his condition but is determined to live his life with courage and resilience, and wants to inspire others to do the same.

Matthew has written this piece on ‘real life resilience building’ – sharing what he has learned from his experience and outlines 5 key areas to develop for building resilience;

“And so here I sit, two severe strokes down, with the possibility of more to come throughout my lifetime.
A known cavernoma in my cerebellum causing haemorrhaging that I can’t control. And each time I take 6 weeks to be able to stand up and walk again properly, for my eyes to work together without double vision, for the intense feelings of sickness to subside, and for my family to cope with a non-functioning adult desperate to get well again and move on with life.

I will never get a warning that another stroke is going to happen. It just will.

It’s scary for me.

It’s very scary for my family.

And it’s scary for my team and clients to watch from afar.

But what isn’t scary is that I have learned so much from my first stroke recovery that I now know what I need to put into place to get me through, time and time again. Resilience building proactively is the key. Not waiting to have to reactively develop these skills and knowledge.

The 5 key areas are as follows:


a deep level of self-awareness and proactively using this information; living life in line with your values; clarity of purpose both personally and professionally; regular feedback from others.

Physical Wellness

understanding of the gut-brain axis and making conscious food choices; intake of foods to support brain health; following recommended guidelines for alcohol, caffeine, sleep, and movement/exercise; embedding time for rest and recovery into schedules every day.

Mental Wellness

knowledge of stress and how to manage it; daily mindfulness practice; balanced self-reflection; developing own feels of self-worth as well as investing in self; emotion regulation – being in control of your emotions.


applying positive psychology theory and techniques; clarity on where energy comes from and what is intrinsically motivating for you; making the effort to apply a positive bias and to celebrate your own achievements.

Meaningful Relationships

choosing which relationships add value, and proactively using personal and professional support networks; staying adult/adult, or moving negative relationships on; having open and honest challenging conversations when right to do so.

We want to win this battle.
We want to thrive, not survive.
We want the very best.

Matthew Radley

Matthew’s daughter Ella is fundraising for CAUK by walking 390 miles from Surrey to Cornwall next month. You can read more of their story and support Ella’s challenge by visiting