Richard Attenborough could 'barely speak' after stroke

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August 26th, 2014

The late Lord Richard Attenborough was left 'barely able to speak' after suffering a stroke six years ago, claims his son.

'Miracle on 34th Street' actor, Lord Attenborough passed away on Sunday August 24 after falling in his west London care home.

Now his son, Michael Attenborough has revealed the true extent of his father's suffering as he told the Daily Mirror that the 90-year-old actor was wheel-chair bound and could no longer speak after suffering a stroke in 2008.

He shared: ''He changed hugely when he had his accident. He hit his head very badly and I have no idea how he survived.

''When he emerged after 18 months in hospital, he was obviously not the same man.

''He couldn't read and write. The two things it was terrible to take away from my dad were his activity and articulation.

''He could get the odd word out but it was impossible to say sentences.''

An emotional Michael then added: ''He was quite simply my hero; my supporter, my counsellor, my friend.''

''He could say my name and that was it. When he first came out of hospital he seemed hugely frustrated but in the last 18 months he was much more resigned.''

Along with Michael, Lord Attenborough has left behind his wife Shelia Sim and his daughter Charlotte.

Theatre director Michael explained that his elderly mother is his main priority now, as he told the newspaper: ''They spent 74 years together. That's several other people's two or three lifetimes. She is our main focus now.''

Since the tragic announcement on Sunday, several of the actor's former co-stars have made tributes to Lord Attenborough, including Ghandi actor Sir Ben Kinglsey, Hollywood director Steven Spielberg and former child star Mara Wilson.