The Living Well Tales

Date: Sunday 26th June 2016

Venue: The Story Museum, Pembroke Street, Oxford, OX1 1BP

The Story Museum was a fitting venue for the inaugural Living Well Tales event, which took place during Oxfordshire Science Festival (  The aim of this event was to bring together a range of people to talk about a health-related topic from different perspectives.  However, it wasn’t to be a mini conference, covering the latest research, but a collection of personal stories, which would be meaningful and accessible to a public audience.

We worked with storyteller Danyah Miller ( to help the speakers develop their stories, all related to stroke.  In addition, we asked local people with experience of stroke for their thoughts on the condition, and compiled the Living Well Tales Stroke Poem (see next blog post for further details).


The event opened with a brief introduction to stroke, followed by the first public reading of the Living Well Tales Stroke Poem, which helped to set the scene for our speakers. First up was Jeff Aronson, consultant physician and clinical pharmacologist, who elegantly described the story of aspirin and its use in the treatment of stroke.


We were then joined by Fran Toye, who spoke about caring for her mum who had a number of strokes in her later years. She brought along a dress her mum had made and described how this resilient and determined lady coped with each stroke and didn’t let them get in her way of her normal life.


Next up was Enrico Flossmann, neurology consultant, who outlined the changes he’s seen in stroke patient treatment during his career, and captured how far we’ve moved in recent years to be able to talk about stroke with a sense of optimism. He gave a lovely example of the application of research in the real world, and giving older patients a chance.

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Following on was George Harston, specialty registrar in general and geriatric medicine. George shared the story of June and John, and detailed the vital role that patients play in medical research to help understand what happens when the body experiences a stroke.  This was a really poignant and moving story, and was dedicated to June’s memory.


Finally, we were joined by David Festenstein, who described his own experience of having a stroke, and how he approached his recovery. His positive attitude, optimism and hope made a great difference, and are an inspiration to others.


Feedback from the audience:

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Feedback from the speakers:

Living Well Tales Twitter feedback

You can hear more from David here:





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