Family, friends and carers of young stroke survivors talk about challenges they have faced

Support crew (family, friends and carers of young stroke survivors) share the challenges after a loved one’s stroke and discuss what has made their journey that little bit easier.

Some of the topics discussed will get you thinking about your own experiences. If you feel any distress, talk with someone you trust—perhaps a family member, friend, or your doctor. If you need support, information or advice StrokeLine’s health professionals are available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, AEST. Call StrokeLine on 1800 787 653 or email strokeline@strokefoundation.org.au. Lifeline is available 24 hours a day on 13 11 44.

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Video transcript

Toni: Yes, he is my carer, but. we are husband and wife, and I also care for him.

Brett: You know, definitely do the research and get as educated and knowledgeable as you can, but have the patience, I suppose, and have the ability to probably be that calming influence whenever you can.

Nichola: You have to show a strength to that person who their life is in the balance, in their eyes, and as a child as well. Beth isn’t a child at 19, but they always are to you. And that vulnerability, they’re so vulnerable. And all I kept thinking was this has to be okay, because she’s in the prime of her life and she’s got a whole future ahead of her. I’m not quite sure when I cried or when I grieved or when I felt sad. When I actually honestly said to anyone how I was feeling. Inside, I wanted to scream. I think that’s the honest feeling.

Jennifer: I wish I’d ask more questions. But you’re so overcome with what’s going to happen next. Maybe just sit down. Take a moment. And write down your questions and like really propose those questions to the doctor so you get a clearer picture of what’s going on and that I think to have those answers.

Nichola: If you don’t ask and say, I am actually you know, I am in so much emotional pain right now. I just want someone to say “Are you OK?” Yeah. And nobody did. So it’s a very, very lonely existence.

Kim: It’s so important to be able to speak to other people who are going through the same thing that you are for your mental health, as well as the mental health of the person. The stroke survivor.

Jennifer: I had all sorts of emotions, but yeah, I wish I had someone who went through it.

Nichola: From the moment that you’re in the hospital, tell someone how you’re really feeling. I would do it at that time. And tell your family how you’re really feeling. It’s being vulnerable and really opening up. And we don’t always. We’re trying to protect everybody in that really, sort of, emotional time and traumatic time. But I think I would probably be a bit more honest about how I was feeling and say, you know, that this is just what I need right now.