Entrepreneur defies the odds after suffering stroke

Simon Griffin with shop manager Sean Butler. Photo contributed.
Simon Griffin with shop manager Sean Butler. Photo contributed.
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A Ripley entrepreneur has defied the odds after being told he ‘may not walk or talk again’ to open his second party shop at the former Ilkeston Co-op site - and now hopes to be an inspiration to fellow stroke sufferers.

Simon Griffin, 44, who owns Discount Party Warehouse, launched his business in 2011, selling party products online from his house with wife Emma, 41.

The shop grew quickly, especially after the Queen’s Jubilee in 2012, and moved to a unit on Prospect Court, Ripley, to store and dispatch the products, when Simon suddenly suffered a major stroke while watching TV in February 2014.

Simon said: “I collapsed and my wife noticed that my face had drooped on one side.”

Simon was taken initially for scans at Derby Royal who then rushed him to the QMC in Nottingham. Five days later he was transferred back to Derby for rehabilitation.

Simon continued: “I still had no movement or feeling in any of my left side - I needed help to do absolutely everything! It drove me mad, and I was told that I would be in hospital for weeks.”

Within eight days at Derby Hospital however, Simon had managed to persuade doctors to let him go home and had also persuaded Sean Butler, to open their first shop in Ripley via a text.

Simon added: “While I was in hospital, I was thinking that I could either see this as a permanent disability, or I could make sure that this new business opportunity gave me something to strive for.”

Despite needing to re-teach himself how to walk, drive and even use a knife and fork following his stroke, the first shop on Prospect Court in Ripley was opened within three months of that original text being sent.

And against all odds, approximately two years after suffering a stroke, Simon and his wife Emma are opening a second shop, The Discount Party Outlet, at the former Ilkeston Co-op site.

Simon now hopes to support stroke charities and hopes that his story can be seen as an inspiration to others.