I fought hard for my husband

April 30, 2021

By Terry Vine

In 2015 my husband of 36 years, Terry, was in the backyard fixing the lawnmower. I walked outside to find him looking grey and nauseous on the back steps. I assumed he was having a heart attack and rang an ambulance immediately. Terry was taken to our local hospital and then transferred to Adelaide. 

After numerous tests Terry was given the all clear, which was an enormous relief. He stayed in hospital that night for monitoring and I thought that would be the end of this horrible scare. But the phone rang at seven o’clock the next morning with bad news. Terry had suffered a stroke and was now in a critical condition in ICU. What was initially thought to be a heart attack was actually a small bleed on his brain and it had now progressed to a life-threatening event. It is important to note that Terry did not display any of the typical signs of stroke. 

As you can imagine, the next hours, days and weeks were incredibly challenging. Terry was given little chance at a successful recovery, however I fought hard to ensure he went to rehab and gave himself the best possible chance. Terry ended up spending three weeks in intensive care, four weeks in the neurosurgical ward and five months in rehab.

Being a carer was hard work, especially when everything happened so quickly and there was little time to prepare for this major life change. Being a carer is a full-time job, requiring constant attention, which demands a lot of time and mental energy.  However, my background in nursing provided me with the practical knowledge and know how to treat a patient along with strategies to manage stress. It also informed me of the options available to Terry and how many support services were available to him.   

The most challenging aspect for me was constantly fighting for Terry and advocating for him to get the treatment and care he needed even when the chances of a successful recovery appeared slim. 

I am pleased to say, twelve months after his stroke, Terry visited his surgeon who was astonished he was alive let alone making great progress in his treatments.

Terry can walk independently around the house using a stick, which is a major milestone. He still suffers from memory issues from the damage to his brain, however, to have made such a great recovery is wonderful. 

I would like to thank all the staff who were involved in Terry’s treatment for doing such a wonderful job and to Terry for his determination in his recovery. 

The two Terrys in a park