‘There’s life after a stroke’: Havering police officer shares his story of recovery

PUBLISHED: 10:26 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:26 12 February 2018

Police Officer David Bunn suffered a stroke in 2015 but is now back at work

Police Officer David Bunn suffered a stroke in 2015 but is now back at work


A police officer who spent a year recovering after a stroke, wants people who have been in the same situation to, “not give up and push through their boundaries.”

Police Officer David Bunn suffered a stroke in 2015 but is now back at work Police Officer David Bunn suffered a stroke in 2015 but is now back at work

David Bunn, 57, works at Romford Police Station, Main Road, in the communications partnership team.

Three years ago, in May 2015, David had a life changing experience.

He told the Recorder: “I went to work as normal, but after a while I felt a pinch in my right shoulder.

“I went on patrol, but found I couldn’t physically grip the keys to start the car.

“Eventually I forced myself to do it and went back to the police station.

“The next morning I went to the doctors and was told that I needed to go to the hospital.

“They did some tests, but I just couldn’t believe it. While the intern was telling me that I was having a stroke I was still in denial.”

At first David thought that the pain in his shoulder came from a trapped nerve caused by the weight of a new stab vest he was wearing.

He also didn’t have all of the usual symptoms that people might associate with a stroke.

“When I got home, I looked in the mirror and there was no facial disfiguration, I had no slurred speech,” David said.

“For the first time ever I couldn’t remember [my wife’s] birthday, I couldn’t remember our wedding anniversary date and that’s not like me at all.

“I knew what I wanted to say to her, but I couldn’t get the words out. At that point [my wife] said you have to go to the hospital.”

As soon as David had been seen by a doctor, within two minutes he was rushed to hospital where scans showed that he had a large thumbprint shape on his brain.

David describes the experience as “traumatic” but explains that it was the help of the nurses at Southend Hospital and family that helped him persevere.

The Romford police officer said: “Whilst I was in hospital, I couldn’t talk properly. I couldn’t walk in a straight line, it was a real struggle.

“The fatigue is probably the worst thing I have ever known. One moment you think your fine, and then the next you’re falling asleep.

“My wife was very supportive and the hospital staff were amazing, I can’t thank them enough.”

Nearly three years after his stroke, David’s message to those who had a similar experience is one of encouragement.

“There’s definitely life after a stroke,” he said.

“My biggest goal was to get back to work, because I love my job.

“I’m a very black and white person and I thought that at work, you’re not noticed and you’re just a number.

“The sergeants came round and were very supportive, and while I was adjusting, I was able to come in and work short days.

“They have been great in finding me a desk job that matches my health.”

For David, working on your mental health while recovering from a stroke is just as important as physical recovery.

He said: “If you get any of the symptoms, go and see your GP as soon as possible and make an appointment.

“For me as an older person, growing up with the stigma of mental health, it was actually the best thing I have ever done, to talk in a group session about problems I was having in a collective group with specialists.”

David is now back to running major operations at work.

“I think you have to be stubborn, and you have got to want to get better for yourself,” he said.

“Set your own goals, and if you don’t reach those goals, look at the positives you have managed to achieve.”

“I just want to encourage people not to give up, to actually push through their boundaries.”

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories


A 65-year-old Romford man accused of beating 85-year-old Rosina (Rose) Coleman to death with a hammer appeared for a pre-trial hearing at The Old Bailey today (May 23).


The new leader of Havering Council will be elected at the council meeting tonight.

An academy has been rated inadequate following an Ofsted inspection earlier this year.


Celebrations for the royal wedding started early at a Harold Wood hair salon as Harry and Meghan even stopped by to enjoy a cream tea with customers…..well sort of!

37 minutes ago

Harrow Lodge Primary School in Hornchurch celebrated the royal wedding in true Great British style as children and staff took part in a prince and princesses party.


On the eve of the wedding of the year, Saint Francis Hospice staff and volunteers celebrated with a Royal fundraising breakfast.

Patients should be finding it easier to get a doctor’s appointment due the extended hours being offered by GPs working in the Havering Clinical Commissioning Group.

Yesterday, 15:00

A dedicated room for terminally ill patients and their loved ones has officially opened at Queen’s Hospital in memory of a beloved grandfather.


The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now