Imagine a perfectly ordinary beginning to your day, say burned toast, no matching pair of socks and the usual damp commute to work. Except at some point through the usual minutiae you suffer a massive stroke. If you don't die outright, you may soon afterwards. Even supposing you survive those first days or weeks, the chance of your life resuming its comforting tedium is impossibly remote. You may need assistance for the rest of your shortened life.
According to the Stroke Association, about 152,000 people suffer a stroke in the UK alone each year. However, the five patients treated in the recent Imperial College pilot study all showed improvements. According to doctors, four of those had suffered the most severe kind of stroke, which leaves only four percent of people alive or able to live independently six months after the event. All four of the patients were alive after six months.