"Our Vision is a life after stroke for everyone."
Stroke can occur at any age, and survivors and their families may feel isolated by their physical, mental and social disabilities. The lives of the primary carers of stroke survivors may be severely impacted as well.
Clinical care post-stroke is limited and there are many things that only an experienced survivor or carer knows about life after stroke. We understand that rehabilitation is often a long-term process. We understand that no two strokes are the same in effect and impact. We understand the importance of re-engaging with your community and we are here to help you, no matter where you are in Victoria.
The important thing to know is that you are far from being alone on this journey, in fact, there are well over 400,000 people living with the effects of stroke in Australia. Among them are dedicated support volunteers who have navigated the journey.
"As a healthy, full-time Occupational Therapist and avid runner, having a stroke at age 24, following the removal of a tangle of vessels in my brain stem, shook my world considerably. I was unable to move, speak or swallow.
Tens years later I have returned to work, commenced an inspirational speaking business to share my new-found insight into life as both a therapist and patient. I have also just written my first memoir. I am a proud Auntie to seven nieces & nephews and spend a lot of my time with family & friends or doing yoga or going for a swim. Life is still challenging but now has so much meaning to it”
Click here to read Emma's Story
At the age of 34, the last thing on my mind was health insurance. But, for some strange reason I did take it up, little did I realise how fortuitous this was for me. Three months later, I was walking my dog in the park on a Friday morning, when I had a stroke! Three months later, I had another five or six strokes, or TIA's, and then I had open heart surgery to close a hole in my heart. 1998 was not a great year for me.
I joined the Boroondara Stroke Support Group, and learnt a lot about people who have strokes, indeed who have had strokes a lot worse than myself, and have completely changed their lives. I was able to pick up my life where I had been and get going again. I moved ahead with my plans to move to the country and spent two years in North East Victoria working in the ski fields in various jobs. I then I met the girl of my dreams, and have now moved to the coast past Geelong, where we have bought a place and are happily enjoying life.
Although I suffered a fairly severe stroke, I am fortunate in retaining my sight and speech. Many apparently, lose sight and speech almost completely, and for me at least that has returned - which is a blessing. I spent hours thinking of ways to cope. Art is now my pastime, and even though there are some difficulties - my right painting/drawing hand cannot hold a brush or pencil - I have trained my left hand to paint.
All in all, I am having fun. My studio is a bit of a mess but I enjoy my extended life, and there are so many helpful people about. I just wish I had not taken life for granted.
Previous occupation: Telstra employee for 30 years
I retired from Telstra in 1997 after 30 years service and did part-time work until having a stroke in December 2004. I suppose like most stroke survivors being struck down by a stroke had never entered my mind. About two weeks prior I had been given a medical check and no signs of ill-health were revealed. On the morning of the stroke I got out of bed and fell to the floor, my legs simply gave way, but within half an hour I was able to walk again with the use of a walking cane.
In early 2005, I joined a support group and now play an active role in the group as activities officer involved in organising and participating in activities.
Previous occupation: Medical Scientist in hospital pathology
My stroke occurred on 10 July 1997 when I was 38 years old and it was due to a temporary blockage in my left carotid artery. The cause of the blockage was never found and I had no stroke risk factors, so it was just a massive case of bad luck.The photo was taken at our home where we have lived for five years. We actually owned our home for seven years but it took my husband nearly two years to renovate it before we moved in, and I still regularly remind him that it was two years too long.
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