National Stroke Week raises awareness

Recovery process: Roger Williams performs a hand and arm function activity under the watchful eye of Moira Finch.

Recovery process: Roger Williams performs a hand and arm function activity under the watchful eye of Moira Finch.

PORT Macquarie Private Hospital inpatient Roger Williams was left wondering what would happen next when he had a stroke.

The 80-year-old said he had regained quite a bit of self assurance since the stroke.

“I’ve certainly regained things like balance and control of my my left arm and left leg to a great extent,” he said.

“The biggest thing that affected me is it takes your mobility away and it leaves you wondering what will happen next.”

A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is interrupted.

National Stroke Week, which ended on September 18, raised awareness and encouraged Australians to take action to prevent stroke.

Laurieton’s Denise Atkins was on holiday in Asia when she experienced a stroke.

Mrs Atkins stayed overnight in a rudimentary clinic before being air evacuated to Bangkok where she spent just over a fortnight until an air transfer to Australia.

Mrs Atkins, who then spent four months as an inpatient at Port Macquarie Private Hospital, said the private hospital was marvellous.

She regularly attends Port Macquarie Private Hospital’s day therapy program.

“The hospital here and the rehabilitation have been excellent for me,” she said.

The 62-year-old graduated to walking with a stick at home but Mrs Atkins said she still got frustrated at times.

Her message to others during National Stroke Week was not to give up.

“You have to keep going even though you feel like you are not achieving anything – you are,” she said.

Port Macquarie Private Hospital has a 28-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit and a day therapy program.

Allied health manager Moira Finch said the staff set goals with patients.

She said it was important for patients to gain as much independence as possible and the staff worked to find solutions.

More than 50,000 new and recurrent strokes occur nationwide every year.

Port Macquarie Private Hospital staged stroke awareness information sessions on September 15 during National Stroke Week.

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