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Support for Stroke Survivors 

    In 2022, Rotorua Trust granted $10,000 to the Stroke Foundation to support its efforts in assisting stroke survivors in Rotorua. Over the past year, the Rotorua Community Stroke Advisor has assisted 155 stroke survivors, their whānau and carers. The case is often that five other people close to the stroke survivor are affected. 

    The Stroke Foundation reports an alarming new trend, the average age of New Zealand stroke survivors in some communities is getting younger. When summarising the work covered in our region over the past 12 months, Stroke Foundation Rotorua describes how life after a stroke can be scary, confusing, and physically and mentally challenging.

    The foundation shares the story of a young Rotorua teacher who had a stroke unexpectedly while travelling with his partner overseas. He woke in the morning with tingling in his arm, and his partner had to assist him throughout the day’s activities. From there, he knew something was not right.

    He was taken aback when he was informed of his stroke during a visit to a private hospital, thinking,

    “I’m a young guy, and I’m healthy. It never occurred to me that a stroke could happen to someone as young as me.”

    Upon leaving the hospital, his partner suggested contacting the Stroke Foundation. He took a year off from work to focus on his recovery and participated in a full immersion Te Reo Māori course.

    The Stroke Foundation’s Community Advisor connected him with another young stroke survivor, and hearing their story and challenges was beneficial for him.

    Returning to work was the next hurdle he had to overcome, and the Stroke Foundation’s Return to Work Advisor provided guidance on the importance of rest and open communication with his employer about his condition. With financial pressures prevalent, he returned to work, which brought challenges, and in hindsight, he realises that he may have made a different choice.

    Further down the road of recovery, he is now working as a teacher and undertaking further study.