We created this page because we have both been affected by stroke and want to raise awareness of stroke in Australia and support the Stroke Foundation in their endeavours to help stroke survivors and family members.
My stroke story started on Christmas Day 2014. I awoke to find my left side immobile and my vision impaired. At first, I thought it was pins and needles due to possibly sleeping in a strange position, but I soon realised it was a stroke thanks to the FAST principles.
The ambulance was quickly called, and I spent Christmas Day 2014 very frightened and disorientated in an Emergency Ward. That in itself is a major experience – kudos to anyone who works in our hospital systems on major holidays.
While in Emergency on Christmas Day, I was told that I most probably would never regain full movement on my left side and due to the eyesight loss (I lost partial vision in both eyes) probably never drive again.
I was 47 and never thought this could happen to me, but I clung to hope…
… It took me 18 months, a fabulous OT and patience, but I am back driving and enjoying life.
While recovering, I reconnected with an old friend on Facebook. He told me his story and we hatched a plan to drive to up to Alice Springs (our old stomping ground) and raise funds for the Stroke Foundation.
That’s how The Long Drive UP came about.
Hi My name is David Lloyd. I was named after my father. He was a solid provider. He cared for us deeply, but he was a father of his time. Emotionally disconnected from his family, full of stress, overweight, suffered from high blood pressure and a was heavy smoker.
In 2008, David Senior suffered a stroke. It was at a service station in Darwin. He was 66. Whilst he received medical help quickly his rehabilitation plan was not as comprehensive.
While my mother, Maeve was willing to care for him she would have struggled physically to meet his care needs. As a result, Dad was placed in a care home to enable him to recover with professional support.
Mum always said to Dad “when you can get yourself to the toilet and make yourself a cuppa, you can come home”. This never happened. He resisted physiotherapy because of the pain. He had left it too late.
He never recovered, spending the rest of his life amongst people much older than himself. He was depressed and disempowered at a relatively young age. He was never happy with his situation.
He constantly suffered bladder infections and similar maladies from being either in a wheelchair or a bed. This was what eventually led to his passing. A severe infection led to a significant deterioration and I was called to Adelaide by my brother to say goodbye to him.
This was an experience I will never forget. My mum, two siblings and I in a general ward room sleeping on the floor, experiencing palliative care at the Royal Adelaide. It lasted 5 days.
I had to argue with nurses whose job (quite rightly) they thought was to keep him alive while we worked with the palliative staff to keep him as comfortable as possible.
This moment continues to affect me to this day. Although I don’t smoke , I am overweight (obese) and have hypertension. It runs in the family on my father’s side.
I drive alongside Tania not only to support her amazing journey, but help to raise awareness of the risk factors.
I wish things could have gone differently for dad. He never allowed himself to find what options he had for himself before or after his stroke. I wish things could have been different for Dad and I will work towards making sure things are different for me.
Through our different stories we have seen firsthand the impact and devastation stroke has on people's lives.
Did you know…..
Stroke is one of Australia's biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. Stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer. In 2017 there were more than 56,000 new and recurrent strokes – that is one stroke every nine minutes.
How can you help?
To give you an idea of how we can all support the Stroke Foundation, please consider donating. Our goal is to raise at least $5,000 in support of the National Stroke Foundation:
• $100 will help support the StrokeLine service so it can continue free of charge for those who need their support.
• $500 will help improve treatment in hospitals for stroke patients and provide education programs in the community.
• $1,000 will help the National Stroke Foundation establish more dedicated stroke units in all major hospitals.
• $5,000 or above will help support future research into stroke.
The more people that know about National Stroke Foundation, the greater their impact, so please spread the word by sharing our page with your friends and family.
Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!