Cheryl Chhin interview

What does it mean to you to be named a finalist in the Stroke Awards?

I am extremely proud to be even nominated. I have worked very hard to get myself better for my family, my kids, my husband and everyone that has supported me.

How has stroke impacted your life?

My stroke has made me think!! It has made me appreciate more things in life. It has made me a stronger person and also not to worry about things in life that are not really that important. I have gone from working in a full time job as a child care worker to now not working at all, but I am trying to get myself stronger and more confident so that I can start working again.

My stroke has also opened up my family’s eyes in terms of what is important in life and we as a family are a lot more relaxed about everything. I appreciate the little things in life such as driving, making my bed and going to the shops to do the groceries.

Why is raising awareness about stroke important to you? 

It’s important for stroke sufferers to know that there is life after stroke. Stroke does not end your life, it can actually make you a better person providing you are in the right mindset. This is extremely important. In our community people think stroke is an old person problem!! It’s not, it can hit anyone, anytime and the more people are aware of it, the better prepared we are.

What inspired you in your recovery?

The support of my husband, my kids, family and friends. I wanted to get better so I could look after my family again but I desperately wanted to walk down the aisle on my wedding day as I was told I may be in a wheelchair, at best! That was never going to happen. Most importantly, it’s my role as a mum and a wife that I take care of my family, not my husband or anyone else…it’s my job and no one else will take that from me, not ever!

What is one thing you would like people to know about stroke? 

There is life after stroke. You can get better, you can set yourself goals and milestones but the most important is: Never ever give up! Mind over body is the most powerful thing to overcome stroke.