The pensioner, who lives in Oaklands Drive, Wokingham, has written to police to encourage potential witnesses to come forward.

He said he went out for dinner with his wife and friends between 5.40pm and 8.15pm on Wednesday April 16, but returned to find the front door broken into.

During the attempted burglary the house was ransacked, although nothing was stolen.

In the letter, the man wrote: “When we entered our home, my wife saw what had been done and immediately collapsed.

“The police and paramedics were called. The shock caused my wife’s blood pressure to rise to a dangerous level which burst a blood vessel in her brain and caused a haemorrhagic stroke.

“We had numerous visits by the police, paramedics and doctor but on April 22, my wife was taken by ambulance to A&E at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

“On the evening of April 25, she was transferred to the Neuroscience Department at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.” The man said his wife has suffered memory loss and is very frail as a result of the stroke.

He added she is on a drip and is monitored 24-hours a day, but is under observation as she is too frail to have any procedures carried out to improve her condition.

The pesnioner said: “We don’t know if or when she will recover but if she does, it could take three to 12 months of care and rehabilitation to get her back to anything like her old self.

“There is no guarantee that this will happen. At this stage we don’t know what other complications may develop.

“I don’t suppose that the people who broke into our home think or care about the effect their actions have had on my wife or her current or future health. She still doesn’t understand why she is in hospital.

“I don’t expect they care about the effect this has had on her family and friends or the cost of the medical treatment she is having, which will run into tens of thousands of pounds.

“I wonder how the people who carried out this crime will feel if someone breaks into their home, causing their wife to have a brain bleed which could incapacitate her for the rest of the life?” Investigating officer Det Sgt Christina Berenger from Loddon Valley police station described the case as “very sad”.

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to contact Thames Valley Police via the 24-hour enquiry centre on 101.