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Helping rewrite the future with Stroke Foundation 

Bob’s wake-up call came not long after his own brother-in-law suffered a major stroke that left him paralysed down his right side and unable to communicate.

“My brother-in-law had been brushing his teeth when he suddenly dropped his toothbrush. We didn’t know it at the time, but he had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), which was like the tremor before an earthquake. Three weeks later he had a major stroke and he’s now permanently incapacitated,” Bob said.

“Seeing what he went through and knowing about my own medical condition, I gave up alcohol, changed my diet and started exercising to try and reduce my chances of having a stroke.” Bob has since lost 16 kilograms and his blood pressure is now in normal range.

It was during research into his own condition that he came across an opportunity with the Stroke Foundation to raise awareness and educate others about the warning signs of stroke.

“I saw that the Stroke Foundation was recruiting for the StrokeSafe Speaker program to help spread the message about what stroke is, how to recognise it and how to prevent it,” Bob said.

“I wanted to be a part of it and help others based on my own experience.” Bob attended a training session at the end of last year in Tamworth that was funded by Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation. Stroke Foundation State Manager, Rhian Paton-Kelly, said the grant helped broaden the reach of potentially life-saving stroke messages across regional NSW.

“The support from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation allowed us to expand the StrokeSafe Speaker program into Tamworth, Armidale, Coffs Harbour and Grafton and continue our mission to prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery,” Rhian said.

Since undergoing training, Bob has delivered more than 20 Stroke Safe talks in his hometown of Grafton, and to groups as far spread as Bellingen and Woodburn.

“My job as a Speaker is to spread the message about how to spot the potentially life saving F.A.S.T. (Face. Arms.Speech.Time) signs of stroke and call triple zero (000) at the first sign. It’s been a humbling experience and I’ve met some great people out of it,” Bob said.

Stroke Foundation
Helping rewrite the future with Stroke Foundation.

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