Preventing stroke would allow me to be the mother; wife; daughter and professional person that I want to be without constraints or restrictions

Stroke survivor Hilary Wehby from Jamaica shares her experience of a life changing stroke and what stroke prevention means to her.

Before the stroke did you have any idea that you were at any risk of stroke? 
Before I had my stroke, I knew very little about strokes and considered myself "a healthy horse" I was usually the last in my family to catch any viruses going around and had 3 children via natural child birth. In fact I had no known medical issue and thought strokes primarily affected elderly persons. 

When and how did you realise that you were having a stroke? 
One day I returned home from my usual full/busy work day; my son Nicholas was thankfully home from college in Florida for a spell and noticed my speech was slurred and asked me: "why are you speaking like that Mum; he called his Dad and my mother and thankfully lifted me to a vehicle with help and drove me straight to the nearest hospital. 

Can you tell us a little about your life before stroke? 
Before I had the stroke I lived a very full and active life. As the mother of 3 children (ages 25, 22 and 13 at the time and a wife married for 26 years to a very busy husband, and very involved in a Christian Women's Ministry, working full time as a senior new product development manager at a fast-paced food company; my life was very full; it was not unusual for me to have to attend functions with my husband at fairly short notice and I drove myself wherever I needed to go. 

How has life changed for you and the people around you since your stroke? 
Life for me has changed dramatically since I had my stroke: first I no longer work at my previous employer where I had been for about 27 years; my life now largely revolves around my therapy schedule and my family; I have not been able to drive and am not sure I will in the foreseeable future and as such depend on others to get around; my mobility and independence have steadily improved but I still get help in some areas from my nurses or family members; I have to be on medications several times per day still and walk with the aid of an AFO leg splint and single point cane; I am now able to get out and about to most places thankfully once I make proper arrangements and know how accessible places will be 

What steps do you take now to prevent stroke? How are you working to reduce your specific risks? 
I had to immediately stop taking birth control pills after my stroke, which I learnt the very hard way that I should have discontinued from perhaps a decade earlier as staying on them so long was the risk factor that led to my stroke; I also am routinely on various medications and see my doctors periodically for check-ups. 

What would you say to other people to make them take stroke prevention seriously? 
Having a stroke is preventable and I would recommend that everyone take stroke prevention seriously; do regular medicals and control/eliminate risk factors because a stroke can change your life; reduce your independence; impact every facet of your life; and there are many stroke survivors with much more severe and debilitating consequences than me and to my surprise even children and babies can get strokes. 

What is your reason for preventing strokes? 
My reason for preventing strokes is to allow me to be the mother; wife; daughter and professional person that I want to be without any constraints or restrictions.

Preventing stroke would allow me to be the mother; wife; daughter and professional person that I want to be without constraints or restrictions Reviewed by Anita Wiseman on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Very inspiring story. It's good that you keep the positive side of everything after what you have been through. Thank you for sharing.

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