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Dad who blamed ‘intense’ smell of bath bombs for ‘splitting headache’ was actually having stroke

Dad who blamed ‘intense’ smell of bath bombs for ‘splitting headache’ was actually having stroke

He'd been buying a present for his wife when he started to feel unwell

A dad who blamed the ‘intense’ smell in Lush bath bombs for giving him a ‘splitting headache’ has revealed how he was actually having a stroke, which killed off an eighth of his brain.

Gary Smith had been out buying a gift for his wife last month when he suddenly started feeling strange.

He’d been in the Lush store in Stone, Kent, and assumed ‘it was the bath bombs’ giving him a headache, initially trying to ignore the pain.

However, the vision in his left eye then became blurry, and he went to buy pain relief with daughter.

Gary, 52, said he started feeling ‘drunk’ as he tried to grab a box of tablets in Boots, only for his arm to feel like it was ‘frozen’.

His daughter drove her dad to hospital, where tests found that he’d actually had a major stroke.

Gary Smith, 52.
Kennedy News

‌Gary, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, said: "When I was in Lush I had a headache and I found it overpowering.

"I was getting intense senses and you don't want that because it's going to make it worse.

"I don't like going into Lush because I find the smell overpowering in there and I do find it strange that women love it.

"When we left to go to Boots I noticed I'd started to lose vision in my left eye. It was like I had a smudge on my windscreen and couldn't see through it.

"In hindsight this was the point I should have said I have a massive problem here, but I didn't and we carried on to Boots and things started to go massively downhill.

He shared his story on TikTok.
Kennedy News

"When I went to pick up the box my arm went towards it but I couldn't pick it up. It was like my arm was frozen. I wasn't in pain but it wouldn't work. I was confused.

"I put the bath bomb down and picked the box up with my other hand to tuck it under my arm but once again it wouldn't work.

"At this point I lost spatial awareness and [my daughter] asked me 'what's up?'. By that time I was worried.

"It was as if I was drunk. Everything is not doing what you want it to do. You can see stuff but everything's a bit fuzzy.”

Gary suffered from alarming symptoms.
Kennedy News

Gary said when he saw a shocked specialist weeks later, he was told that the stroke had been ‘big’ and that people are normally left with permanent paralysis.

"I used to race motorbikes and you always have an attitude that it'll never be me and I still had that with a stroke,” he continued.

"When you're having a stroke you can't stop it and you've got to see what happens but I knew I wasn't right and kept pushing on like an idiot.

"If you get a couple of symptoms then listen to your body and tell someone."

Gary is now off work and suffers from fatigue, but counts himself lucky to have survived.

Doctors confirmed he'd suffered a stroke.
Kennedy News

He said he doesn't smoke or drink heavily and was told he doesn't have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, with medics suspecting the stroke was caused by a blood clot as the result of a genetic heart defect.

Gary has even shared a TikTok about his experience, explaining how his ‘eyes started to ache’ and he ‘assumed it was the bath bombs’.

Replying to one user, he joked: "Killed off one eighth of my brain Soph. The missus can have a plain bath from now on!"

Staff at Boots had called an ambulance after he fell unwell, but his 30-year-old daughter decided it would be quicker for her to drive her dad to hospital.

It killed off an eighth of his brain.
Kennedy News

Within 30 minutes, he'd had a brain scan and the headache had turned into a pain in his left eye and at the back of his neck.

Gary was sent home the following day with medication, having been referred to a stroke specialist.

Because he is fortunately healthy, his brain is now 'rewiring itself to compensate for the area that has died'.

Gill Eldridge, assistant store manager at the Boots store, said: "When the customer described his symptoms, I immediately thought it sounded like a stroke and so called 999 straight away.

"It is great that he is now raising awareness of his experience to help others understand the signs and symptoms."

Staff at Lush also said they wished Gary well.

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News

Topics: Health, Lush, TikTok