Wheels in motion for stroke survivor’s mammoth mission

March 22, 2023

A young survivor of stroke is hitting the road resuming his mammoth mission to be the first in Australia to ride a recumbent trike to the four most extreme points of the mainland.

Over the next few months, 29-year-old Tommy Quick will complete a 9,000 kilometre cycle, as far North as Cape York, east to Byron Bay, south to Wilson’s Promontory and far west to Steep Point, with the aim of raising $1 million for the Stroke Foundation, and to spread awareness of the impact of stroke in young people.

“I’m passionate about social inclusion and I plan on breaking down some common misconceptions about disability. I want people to know that stroke can happen to anyone, at any time. I plan on stopping along the way and speaking with anyone who will listen.”

Tommy had a life-changing stroke at the age of 12 which has impacted him physically and affected his communication, but it hasn’t stopped him from achieving great things or overcoming major challenges.

In November last year, while Tommy was 3,638 kilometres into his ride, he was hit by a car in South Australia.

“My injuries were severe, and the recovery hasn’t been easy. Broken bones hurt like hell, but unlike the brain they are faster to heal,” Tommy said. “My parents saw the whole crash unfold, Mum actually thought I was dead, it was very confronting for them.”

After more than a year out of the saddle, and months of gruelling rehab to repair a shattered pelvis, displaced sacrum and broken leg, Tommy is getting back on the recumbent trike and resuming his epic pedalling challenge this Friday with the support of NDIS Minister Bill Shorten’s office and Stroke Foundation.

“It’s been a tough year for me, both mentally and physically, however I’m back better and more determined than ever to get somewhere.”

Stroke Foundation Executive Director, Marketing, Mr John De Rango, has applauded Tommy’s resilience. “Tommy’s determination and perseverance is to be commended. He has overcome huge challenges in his life but it hasn’t stopped him from making big achievements.” Mr De Rango says.

Tommy’s challenge will go a long way in educating Australians about stroke, particularly young stroke.

“Tommy is doing a great job in addressing the misconception that stroke only impacts older Australians. Evidence shows that while the overall incidence of stroke in Australia has been declining, stroke incidence rates in young people of working age have been increasing over time.”

There are 123,977 Australians of working age (aged 18–64) living with the impact of stroke.

“I implore Australians of all ages to know the main signs of stroke and learn the F.A.S.T acronym (Face. Arms. Speech. Time), because stroke can strike at any age, at any time so it’s important to be able to recognise a stroke and know to call an ambulance immediately.”