My Activity Tracking
My target 500 kms
In February 2018, I was having a fairly normal day at work when I received a call from my sister, Kellie. She asked if I could go away from my desk and very calmly told me that our Dad, Gary, was in hospital. He was playing lawn bowls and being the joker that he is, had gone to take his turn and bowled without actually having the ball in his hand. His team mates realised something was wrong when Dad collapsed. He was rushed to Westmead hospital with a suspected stroke. Kellie assured me that they’d got to Dad really quickly and that everything would be fine. I had this awful feeling in my gut and rushed to the hospital. My family met at Westmead and were waiting for what felt like forever. We finally got to see Dad. He was out cold. The neurosurgeons came to speak to my brother, Paul and I. They told us that Dad had a massive stroke and despite how quickly he had been rushed to hospital and the treatment he quickly received, a large part of his brain was damaged and would never return to the Dad we knew. Dad had a stroke on the left side of his brain which left him right-side paralysed. He could not talk or walk, didn’t really understand what we were saying and couldn’t eat. The next few weeks were a blur. It felt like we were constantly battling with the hospital to do whatever they could to help Dad. There were glimmers of hope when he regained consciousness, started saying words and eventually started to eat. Dad was moved to a private rehabilitation hospital where he received intense physio, occupational therapy and speech therapy. We saw improvements but after a few months were told that there were no more practical gains. During this time, my family were doing everything we could to learn more about stroke - we watched documentaries and did lots of online research, contacted different stroke foundations and support groups and even called universities to see if we could have our Dad be accepted into any trials they were doing to help him in any way we could. After being discharged from the rehabilition hospital, my Dad returned home to live with my mum and I. It was hard. We had help with nurses in the mornings but I worked full time and it took a major toll on my mum. After a year of having Dad at home and I had moved out, he had another stroke. A small one compared to what he previously had but one which still impacted him. This is when we made the very difficult decision as a family that we were no longer able to give him the care he needs and that the best place for him would be a nursing home. Dad has been living at a brand new nursing home in Blacktown, a suburb not far from my family home, about 40kms from Sydney CBD. He is in a wheelchair, can say minimal words (yes, no, Jesus Christ and his absolute favourite....the “f” word) and can feed himself. My Dad isn’t the same Dad who’s been there my whole life. He’s a new version of himself, with a new personality. It’s been hard to grieve the loss of the Dad who raised me and learn to get to know Dad who he is now. I’m striding for stroke because stroke has changed my life. It’s changed the life of my family. I want to educate people, help fund trials for treatment and prevent another family from experiencing what we have over the last (almost) two years.
This November, I’m taking part in Stroke Foundation’s Stride4Stroke to help prevent, treat and beat stroke!
Stroke attacks the brain- the human control centre, changing lives in an instant. The impact of stroke can be devastating for the individual and the family. But stroke’s impact doesn’t need to be this great, research indicates that around 80 percent of strokes are preventable.
So, I need your help to Fight Stroke. It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s nothing compared to those who are impacted by stroke. Please sponsor me today to support me and together we can Fight Stroke!
Your donation will help the Stroke Foundation support those affected right now and fund research to help prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery. Thank you.
Shared my page
Added profile pic
Created a team
Donated to myself
Fundraising goal reached
Thank you to my Sponsors
Danni And James Maxwell