Strokes affect the young too

Stroke victim Sheila Brennand found her brain would only work in rhyme after her stroke at 49

Stroke victim Sheila Brennand found her brain would only work in rhyme after her stroke at 49

“Please can you get me some water?” were the words I shouted to my 11-year-old son Patrick, as I walked into the downstairs bathroom on 15 April 2013, feeling hot and queasy. I knelt on the floor, bent my head into the toilet bowl and what happened after that is a blur.

Patrick was standing over me, glass of water in hand, but I was slumped on the floor, no right-side movement and unable to utter one word! Scary does not even come close.

I had suffered a stroke and was only 49. I recovered well post stroke but my career as a Private Investigator on the Sunshine Coast was done, due to my slower brain.

Losing my identity, unable to contribute as before brought on post stroke depression and still struggling with fatigue and sensory overload, even seven years on, are but a few post stroke symptoms suffered by many stroke survivors around the globe.

However, after my stroke, my brain would only work in rhyme and as such, I began to write poetry about my sad, happy, and frustrating times.

Sharing this poetry on social media stroke support sites found it helped others and gave me a purpose and zest for life once again. This inspired me in 2015, to publish my book ‘A Stroke of Poetry – Poems of healing and hope after stroke’.

“Strokes only happen to older people” is one of many myths I have quashed over recent years, in my work as a passionate Stroke Foundation Stroke Safe Ambassador.

Did you know that 30% of strokes in Australia happen to those under 65 and babies suffer strokes ‘in utero’?

I love being a stroke advocate; delivering stroke safe presentations, stroke prevention advice and sharing the ‘FAST’ signs of stroke to help people wake up to their own stroke risk. We can prevent 80% of strokes, simply by being stroke aware and leading a healthier life.

Please follow Shelagh and the Stroke Foundation for further information about stroke; Novembers ‘Stride 4 Stroke’ initiative or requesting a Stroke Safe Speaker for your group or organisation.




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