Thanks to the swift action of his military colleges Simon was very quickly airlifted to Ashford Hospital in Kent where he received immediate treatment. He spent the following 10 weeks in a rehabilitation facility. But on leaving the hospital he was facing life in a wheelchair with life-changing injuries.
He had also had to say good-bye to his 30-year career as a sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, which left him feeling very depressed.
Prior to his stroke, Simon had been receiving regular acupuncture from Sahar Hooti of the Acucare Clinic in Harley Street, London, who also runs a regular clinic in Portsmouth, for pain in his knees.
“The acupuncture was working very well for my knees so when I had my stroke Sahar began dealing with the problems associated with that too,” he explains.
“The stroke left me with a dislocated left shoulder, no feeling in my left leg and problems with my brain not working quite as well as it used to.”
Acupuncturist Sahar Hooti says: “I treated Simon with traditional acupuncture and lots of different modalities without the need for electric stimulation.
“When he first came to see me he was very depressed. We have managed to deal with that and he has also now lost lots of weight and is back in control of his life.
“He has a shoulder problem which surgeons have refused to work on but I have managed to keep the pain at bay for him.”
Simon visits Sahar three or four times a month for what he refers to as “a tune-up", but he admits he was not the most willing of patients initially.
“I was the worst patient you could possibly imagine for acupuncture,” he says. “The idea that some microscopic needle going into parts of your body is going to help you was unbelievable to me. I would never have thought that could work.
“But I have been converted. A lot of the people I went through the system with were on pretty severe medication for depression but I have managed to get through it without taking anything. I can only put that down to the acupuncture.”
Simon has regained feeling in his left leg but unfortunately his left arm still does not work, although he remains hopeful.
He has been able to return to driving and last year he attended trials for the Invictus Games. He was unsuccessful but says he has since risen to UK No.1 in his class for seated discus throwing so is confident that he stands a chance of getting picked for the games next time round.
He plans to continue with acupuncture on a regular basis.