Normand Bourque interview

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

That's a question that sounds a bit weird to my ears. How did I get to become a finalist when after a stroke you basically become a 'starter' more than a finalist. Let us be the starters of the after-Stroke Awards.

Why is supporting stroke survivor important to you?

Because surviving a stroke is more like living a stroke to the brim. Rather than be a survivor, like survivors of a hurricane, the important thing is the afterstroke, which means essentially a reconstruction following the destruction. 

How do you think your contribution has made a difference?

If you want to KNOW how you make a difference, you need to discover it yourself through your own eyes. Surprise yourself with "positive disbelief". That is what I discovered when I restarted playing piano after losing total control of my left hand.

What motivated your efforts to work with the stroke community?

Very simple answer. I received such an incredible professional support from the physiotherapists and the occupational therapists at Osborne Park Hospital that I thought that I should give back to OPH and the stroke community something of what I had received. Also, being living proof that the real miracle in rehab is not self-pity but perseverance and determination. The key is to understand you are never alone after a stroke. Your partner is indirectly a victim of your stroke. A stroke is life-changing for you and your partner. That is why there is no room for complacency and self-pity.

What is one thing that I would like people to know about a stroke.

A stroke is like when your computer crashes. It is like your hard disk has accidently has been wiped off and you are on a trip of data recovery. You need a program to recover lost files. The backup is in neuroplasticity