Welcome to VitalStim UK

Success Stories

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About four and a half years ago in September 2006, I was unfortunate to receive a serious head injury... after falling downstairs. I had to undergo emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on my brain caused by the impact on my head and then spent two weeks in intensive care.

Glenys Watkins

North Wales, UK
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The Chairman of the Hiranandani Group Dr L H Hiranandani is 92 years old and a known case of ... Parkinson’s disease. Dr Hiranandani was suddenly admitted to the Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital (a hospital that has been built in his honor by his sons Niranjan & Surendra Hiranandani).

Dr Lakhumal Hiranand Hiranandani

Mumbai, India
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My name’s Amelia, I am 50 years old and live in Staffordshire. I was born with an AVM ... (arteriovenous malformation) on the brain stem - a cluster of abnormal blood vessels which tend to bleed sporadically and cause a brain haemorrhage/stroke.

Amelia Royle

Burton-on-Trent, UK
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PAUL Spence was one of the lucky ones. He survived his stroke. Every year 150,000 people in the UK are... affected by stroke - a third die, a third is left disabled, and a third recover. Paul had been driving on the M62 in Lancashire one day last January 2009

Paul Spence

Manchester, UK

Throat cancer survivor: 'When I had a McDonald's I knew my treatment had worked!'

Voices of Experience

Below are audible testimonials from some of our success stories. Simply click the 'play' icon next to name of the sound file you wish to hear. The sound player is powered by Flash, and requires Adobe Flash Player version 6 or later to hear the files. If you do not have Flash Player installed, you can download the sound files as MP3 and play offline in your Media Player.

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Carl Hedison - Stroke ( Treatment – 2 weeks, June 2010)

My name is Toni and I am the wife and carer of Carl who had a stroke in June 08. Carl was very poorly ad unable to swallow any food as he aspirated. He was fitted with a feeding tube, which he still has. Carl had severe swallow problems and very little tongue movement on the left and hardly none at all on the right due to his side of his face being paralysed, he could not even manage to swallow his saliva which he spat into tissues. His speech was not very clear and very gravelly due to the severity of his problems. Carl loved his food and misses going out with his family for meals. The speech and language team at our local hospital said he would be dependent on his feeding tube, we both felt they had written him off. We read about Vital Stim in the Daily Mail, about a gentleman who has similar problems as Carl. He had regained his swallow and had a feeding tube removed after several Vital Stim treatments.

We found that Ms Sinnapan was the only private licensed practitioner for Vital Stim and was stationed at Rowley Hall Hospital Stafford. As it was along was form Grimsby we stayed in a hotel near to the hospital for two weeks, and had 10 days of Vital Stim therapy. After 7 sessions Carl was managing to swallow his saliva and his tongue movement had increased and he could now lick his lips and the movement was much better. Our daughter Carla spoke to Carl on the telephone and she commented that his voice was clearer and stronger and was able to understand him better as his voice wasn’t so gravely. All of this was due to vital Stim. We also noticed that the side of his face that was paralysed had a muscle reaction for the first time since the stroke. Carl had started to eat smooth food and is continuing to recover his swallowing ability. We are going home after 2 weeks and 10 sessions or 20 treatments. We will continue with all oral exercises, tools and oral techniques what Ms Sinnapan has shown us. We are also able to contact Ms Sinnapan with unlimited phone calls and emails for help and advice.
Carl is fifty in October and his goal is to eat with his family and eventually have his feeding tube removed.

Glenys Watkins - 62 years old, North Wales

My name is Watkins and I was the first person in the UK to have VitalStim Therapy. Nearly four years ago I had a bad head injury after falling down stairs and I was in hospital for nine months. One of the problems as a result of this was an inability to swallow and I was fed through a naso-gastric tube for eleven months. The therapy I had for this problem did not lead to any improvement but then I found out about VitalStim on the internet. After a course of seventeen treatment sessions my swallowing returned.

I can honestly say that if it were not for VitalStim I would be resigned to being fed by a peg tube into my stomach and I would not be able to have the social life that I have now.

The treatment was easy and painless with no side effects and, because I was able to eat normally again, there was a big improvement in my condition all-round.
I wish this therapy could be available to everyone who needs it so that they could have the chance to eat normally again.


After a car accident, Chantelle had issues swallowing and contacted us for Vitalstim® treatment. After several sessions, Chantelle was able to swallow again wihtout problems. Below are audible testimonials from both Chantelle and her Mother.

Hi. My name is Chantelle.

Five years ago I received a serious head injury which left me with lots of problems such as balance, speech, swallow, attention problems etc…

I have travelled to Stafford from Cumbria for VitalStim at Rowley Hall Hospital. I have had twenty-one sessions out of twenty-four and I have seen a big improvement with my speech and my swallow. Before my accident I used to love singing and be always on the Karaoke. I had singing lessons and was always in talent competitions and since my accident I’ve struggled to sing, struggled to get people to understand what I am saying and my speech has been very slurred. Whereas my swallowing food – I used to eat really, really slow, I used to be constantly clearing my passage and now I can eat as fast as my Mum and I don’t ever need to clear my throat.

Chantelle's Mother

My name is Jane. I am from Cumbria and I am the mother of Chantelle.

Five years ago Chantelle was in a car accident in which she sustained a serious head injury. Since the accident, Chantelle has been working on her rehabilitation. One of her problem areas has been her speech, language and swallow. Although she has had speech and language therapy she still had weak muscles in her tongue and lips and her voice was very gravelly. When she ate, she would have food left on her tongue and in her mouth. Eating could be quite messy with food left around her mouth; she was also quite slow eating and would always finish her meal long after everyone else. She used to chew food with her mouth open and tongue sticking out. Swallowing was difficult and some foods were avoided.

Since having VitalStim, the clarity of the voice is better and her tongue and lips are stronger. Chantelle is able to chew with her mouth closed, clear food from her tongue and inside her mouth. Eating is much quicker and she is finishing meals at the same time as everyone else. Her swallow is much better and smoother and she is able to clear her throat.

Because of the distance, we chose to do back to back therapy. Two sessions daily over a period of three days for four weeks. Treatment was at Rowley Hall Stafford and we stayed in a hotel just outside the centre of Stafford. VitalStim and voice therapy has been well worth the time and effort. For me, the fact that I am not worried about Chantelle choking, for Chantelle, that she can sing again and the quality of her voice is much better. She can enjoy food again which is a very big social part of her life.

Izabella- Mac 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Izabella, aka the Bean, has finally started therapy in order to treat her dysphagia, to retrain her swallowing and to restore her oral functioning. In other words, teach her to eat by mouth instead of a gastric tube that goes directly into her tummy. Her treatment will involve VitalStim therapy to strengthen her throat muscles via electrodes as well as various other exercises to work on her oral muscles and oral-motor functions that play a major role in eating and swallowing.

Similarly, to all occupational and physical therapists we have encountered thus far, the speech therapist was incredibly sweet and helpful. As for the Bean, she loved the whole experience. First, the therapist put some applesauce in Izzy’s mouth while keeping a hand on her throat (on Izzy’s, not her own) to feel her swallow. The Beanie’s eyes grew twice in size as the tart-sweet taste of the applesauce invaded her taste buds. First there was surprise on her face, which turned into an undecided ducky-lipped pensive expression, which finally settled into a joyous smile. She was pleased with the applesauce. The therapist deemed the first swallow a success, hence we embarked on the second round. Izzy was not so quick to swallow her food this time, instead she took her sweet time and played with this new interesting texture for a while.

After she successfully conquered the applesauce, the Bean was given another challenge: water in a bottle. The nipple on the bottle was sort of familiar given her pacifier addiction, but it was different enough to make her suspicious. She chewed on it a bit before she drank the water but she wasn’t overly impressed by this tasteless texture-less substance. The applesauce was more fun.

Besides a couple frowny dirty looks, Izzy was all smiles and happy kicks so we concluded that she thoroughly enjoyed her therapy. I did too, because she made the cutest little faces that ranged from astonishment to pure joy.

And what better way to celebrate her first speechless speech therapy than putting on a bandana and some snazzy sun goggles and heading to the beach to catch the sunset.

Ken Brookes 65yo 2010 Birmingham

My fight was booked for August 25th 2010. I am to be Best Man at my son’s weddingin Bosnia.
The 1st July 2010 I collapsed at work. I was a healthy 66 year old man who hadrarely had a day off sick in my working career.
After being rushed to the Accident and Emergency dept they diagnosed an ischemicstroke. It affected my speech and balance but my main disappointment was the factthat I was unable to swallow; anything! The food was brought round for the otherpatients at regular intervals and here I was unable to even swallow my own saliva.To add to humiliation they gave me a bowl to spit in.
After a couple of weeks the consultant, her junior and the speech therapist told methat the likelihood of me ever swallowing again was very slim. They recommended apeg in my stomach to feed me, to replace the feeding tube up my nose. They saidthat ‘This way I could lead a relatively normal life’. How could life ever be normalagain? Spitting in a bowl, never tasting food!
One of the patient’s family members suggested Vital Stim. She had seen it on thenews. We asked the Stroke Association about it but they knew nothing. My daughterresearched it and I was booked in. It was worth a shot rather than living like this forever.
I delayed my peg being fitted in hospital and started the treatment. I travelled fromMosely Hospital, Birmingham to Rowley Hall Hoapital, Stafford every few days. Whatinitially amazed me was how positive the dysphagia consultant , Sumathi Sinnappanwas. She told me from the start that she would enjoy a cup of coffee with me at theend of the 10 sessions - 20 treatments. This was quite the opposite to the ‘Get usedto it’ attitude of the NHS.
When the treatment day came that I actually swallowed, I was absolutely elated. Itwas like someone had clicked a switch and I could do it. The NHS was wrong, howdare they tell me that I would never swallow again when here I am doing it.
The NHS continued to be negative. Even though I had attended the Vital Stimtherapy with the consultant’s permission they made it very difficult for me and myfamily to keep leaving the hospital for treatment. They insisted on the peg; but I could swallow now, so I declined. They now told me that I would never swallowenough to sustain myself. They also told me that I would not be able to attend myson’s wedding. Ms Sumathi had reassured me continuously that I would and I wouldeat at the wedding table.

On august 28th, i was best man at my son’s wedding in Bosnia. I ate at his weddingtable and returned to work in October 2010. I was not pegged and now there isnothing I am unable to eat.
The stroke completely changed my life but Vital Stim gave it back. It is truly amiraculous treatment. Sumathi is completely dedicated to Vital Stim and herpatients, gave me hope when there wasn’t any and support when I needed it. I cannever thank you enough.

Ken Brookes