The tides have changed

September 23, 2021

By Richard 

On the 7th of March 2021, I was already in hospital recovering from a spinal fusion and a staph infection when I suddenly had a stroke.  

I couldn’t speak, my face started to droop, and I had no movement in my right hand, arm and leg. Fortunately, a nurse walked in as this was occurring. 

Since then, my life has been flipped upside down. Before my stroke, I was self-employed as a charter boat owner-operator and was working 7 days a week. I was reasonably fit and used to coach Aussie rules. Now, I can no longer work, and my energy is less than half what it used to be. 

At 57 years old, life after stroke has been tough. As someone who has always worked hard and mostly been self-employed, it sometimes feels like I’ve been left high and dry. 

I found that stroke related rehabilitation in Darwin was limited but luckily, I’ve had a lot of support from family and close friends which has been wonderful. I have some great friends who did physiotherapy exercises with me every day while my wife was working. 

Richard in his hospital bed

My speech has improved, and I am now walking, but I still struggle with moving my right hand and arm. I still experience fatigue, but I’ve been trying to exercise 2-3 hours daily by myself at home. I’ve also found an occupational therapist to help me once a week, but it’s been tough on one income, and I’m still waiting to hear from the NDIS. 

Nowadays, my main goal is to try and get as much normalcy back in my life as possible. It’s a constant self-battle to try and keep on going, but I know I have the support of my friends and family.  

The tides have changed but I won’t be beaten. Hopefully, things will get better.  

Richard in the rehab pool