The long road back after stroke
My name is Phil on August 1 2016 I had a heart attack, and I had two stents placed in my heart, I had three more heart attacks over the following month.
Finally clear of heart attacks and feeling great, I cut my sugar intake as much as possible and all seemed calm. Then on December 4 I was at a family dinner. I was feeling good talking and playing with my sister’s grandchild, suddenly I felt ‘funny’ in my head so I sat down.
I said to my sister “call an ambo quick” and then I fell to the floor.
Falling in and out of consciousness I was unable to move anything, not even my eye lids. I was completely paralysed.
I could feel everyone moving around me, and could hear someone on the phone talking to emergency but I could not move. Trying to keep calm, I thought I was speaking, muttering that my heart spray was in my pocket, but the ambos knew different. I was having a stroke.
They forced my mouth open and I started shutting down – I was dying. Suddenly I felt air rushing into my lungs, cool fresh air, I will never ever forget that feeling. My angels the paramedics were doing everything to keep me alive. What amazing people paramedics are, Aussie legends in every way! I cannot describe the feeling that rush of fresh air gave me.
I was airlifted to Flinders Medical Centre and the team worked on me all night and I woke up in the hospital the following day. I was very sick for the first few hours and worn out. I found out my daughter and sister had been told I would not make the night and to say goodbye.
My left side was affected and my face on my left was cold numb, I had no balance at all and was unable to walk.
After a few days I could drink, eat, talk, sit up, and move my fingers and walk with a frame - then the second stroke hit me, I was shattered.
Now I’m almost 100 per cent physically, my brain however is a different story. I have memory issues. I’ve lost three years of memories, but they are coming back slowly. My body charts to my left side constantly and I’m slower.
I’m a very lucky person in every way, the doctors thought I would remain paralysed with the ability to only move my eyes. My 86 year old dad nursed me and he looks after my Mum who has Dementia. He is my hero.
I am getting my independence back I’m able to drive and recently went on holidays to Queensland. My world is opening up.
I lost most of my friends - after my stroke they drifted away. I was warned by my social worker that this may happen so I was emotionally prepared. My Dad nursed me and got me through everything. He’s my Hero.
I have many people to thank – my Dad, and also the owners of the Strathalbyn pub who did first aid on me until the ambos arrived. I call the South Australia Ambos my angels because they saved my life.
Bravo - love you all.