TONY'S STORY

I Found a New Me – Tony’s Story

December 18, 2020

Did you know that 1 person every 9 minutes will have a stroke? And that 25% of stroke survivors are of working age?

There are around 475,000 Australians living with the effects of a stroke and Tony is one of those. Tony was a fit and active family man, happily working in the Bus industry and serving in the Army Reserves for near 4 decades that was, until a sudden stroke left Tony paralyzed and significantly visually impaired.

After spending weeks in intensive care, Tony commenced an exhausting and strenuous rehabilitation program to assist him with building muscle strength and skills such as learning to walk, ‘I remember on my first day [in rehabilitation], I could not even hold my head up, my muscles were so weak.’ However, it was Tony’s determination and perseverance that he found strength to overcome any challenge and obstacle and meet his milestones, “I believe that my army determination in that It’s about winning the war, not necessarily the battle, which gave me a long term approach to the stroke.” 

Fast forward to today, Tony is now able to walk again, and continues his therapy sessions to further improve his hand function and fine motor skills. Through his NDIS funding, Concept Care are able to provide Tony with gardening and personal assistance care, “I don’t think my yard has ever looked better, and I know it takes a bit of the workload off my wife, Amanda. I may have been the one that suffered the stroke, but the effects were felt by my wife and two daughters. I am grateful for my support worker’s Pravesh, Martin and Dale and Nikhi, who just goes above and beyond for all of us.”

‘If someone asked me for advice on life after a stroke, I would tell them to focus on the thing that you do well. The old Tony could jump off tall buildings and stop locomotives, but this new Tony is remarkable, strong and resilient, he is an exciting man, one I am surprised I found.” 

Tony is now the busiest he has ever been, often having to schedule an appointment just to have a quick chat. Tony is now instructing one day a week with a local bus company on a Certificate III course In Driving Operations (Bus) and is a proud public speaker and advocate for the cause which gave him a new lease on life, successfully helped with raising over $42,000 for the Stroke Foundation. Tony is also a successful author and currently penning his eighth book. But it’s his time with two granddaughters and grandson that Tony loves and cherishes best.

“There is a life after a stroke in some cases whilst understanding that everyone one has a different stroke”.

Key Takeaways:

What is a stroke?
A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain is interrupted.  Your blood is pivotal in carrying oxygen to the brain via your arteries.  Unfortunately, sometimes your blood may have issues moving through these arteries, either because of a blockage, known as an ischemic stroke, or because the artery bursts referred to as a hemorrhagic stroke. 

Your brain cells usually die shortly after a stroke occurs. However, if the blood supply can be returned to a person within a minutes or hours after the stroke, some of these brain cells may recover.

There are sometimes quite specific warning signs before a stroke. By recognising the warning signs and acting quickly, you may be able to prevent a stroke or reduce its severity. 

Diagnosis of stroke emergency
The FAST test is an easy way to recognise and remember the most common signs of stroke.  FAST stands for:

  • Face –  check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms – can they lift both arms?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time – is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.
    If you suddenly experience any of these symptoms, get to a hospital immediately.

Other signs of stroke
Although facial and arm weakness and speech are the most common signs of a stroke, there are others to be aware of, such as:

  • Weakness or numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg on one or both sides of the body;
  • Dizziness, loss of balance or an unexplained fall;
  • Loss of vision, sudden blurring or decreased vision in one or both eyes;
  • Headache, usually severe and abrupt onset, or unexplained change in the pattern of headaches; and
  • Difficulty swallowing.

It is important to remember that sometimes these symptoms may only last a few minutes, however you may be at an increased risk of a stroke soon after. 

By knowing and understanding the signs and symptoms of stroke, you can take immediate action which could perhaps save someone’s life – possibly your own.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) helps individuals under the age of 65, who have a disability get the support and services they need.  As an NDIS participant you are able to get funding for services to help with daily life and services which assist you in reaching your goals.

Concept Care is a registered NDIS disability service provider specialising in providing exceptional care to clients across Sydney and Adelaide. We are committed to empowering each of our clients to live as independently as they choose and work diligently behind the scenes to ensure our clients receive exceptional customer-focused service.

We have deep experience providing optimal services and supports to stroke survivors such survivors include, but are not limited to, domestic assistance, personal care, community access, travel and transport and gardening assistance.

If you would like more information on the services we offer, please contact our client services team on 1800 266 237 or clientservices@conceptcare.com.au.

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