Chris Kay interview

What does it mean to you to be named the winner in the Improving life after stroke Award?

Being named as winner is humbling. So many people do such a great job and also deserve recognition. 

Why is supporting stroke survivors important to you?

Supporting stroke survivors is important to me because I don’t want anyone to feel alone in their stroke journey. My stroke left an invisible mark, a brain injury, and I felt very alone even though family and friends were around me. I just needed to talk to other survivors, hence I started the Young Queensland Stroke Support Group. There is a comfort in talking to others.

How do you think your contribution has made a difference? 

If one person was happy to meet me and if I helped them in some way with their stroke journey then that makes me happy. But the journey continues as we know stroke statistics are on the rise. 

What motivated your efforts to work with the stroke community?

My motivation stems from my personal experience of feeling alone in the community whilst recovering from my brain injury. I am stubborn by nature and I think more so since my stroke. Awareness is paramount and also the motivation that drives me, by having group catch ups once a month or posting something on my Facebook page or having that discussion with a friend or a member of the public about stroke bringing awareness about stroke risk factors is important to me because I didn’t expect to have a stroke at 43 years of age and it has been a hard soul searching journey for my wife, children and myself.

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

Stroke does not discriminate and has no age barrier. It is not an old persons’ illness and the statistics 1 in 6 people have strokes are frightening. Everyone who I have met post stroke shares a different journey and story in their recovery. I would love to see a great ad campaign on television raising awareness of stroke.