Supporting the global fight against stroke - Ajeng's fundraising inspiration

When Ajeng Riandini’s father experienced a stroke while travelling from Indonesia to Germany, what was supposed to be a once in a lifetime family holiday turned into a worrying and financially stressful event. A massive stroke on the plane was complicated by atrial fibrillation, pulmonary embolism and gastric bleeding in hospital. Huge anxieties about her father’s health were compounded by worries about the costs of his treatment in Germany and of longer-term rehabilitation back home in Indonesia. Unsure of the whether insurance would cover costs and knowing that her father had used his retirement savings to fund her studies abroad, Ajeng took to social media, to raise funds and ensure that bills could be paid. As it turned out, her father’s insurance did meet many of the costs of treatment, so Ajeng committed to donate surplus funds to the World Stroke Organization and Stroke Support Germany. Here she tells her story and why her family chose to support WSO.

My father is my hero. A strong Indonesian man who is not selfish and always puts his family first. He never complains and always tries his best to provide his family. Even though he is from a poor background, his wish was always to see his kids being successful and he worked really hard to make it happen. Through his hard work, he was able to finance my study for two years in Germany, using funds he had set aside for his retirement. 

As a token of my appreciation of his support, I invited both of my parents to Germany to have a holiday and see Europe for the first time in their life. Unfortunately, my father suffered a stroke on the plane and was immediately upon landing was admitted to the Schlosspark Klinik in Berlin.

His stroke was massive it affected the left part of his brain. Just when everything seemed getting on the right track, he experienced sudden multiple complications: atrial fibrillation, pulmonary embolism, massive stomach bleeding which almost killed him, infection, and the then worst of all – another stroke. His condition deteriorated enormously. His right side of the body was partially paralyzed, he was unable to speak, eat independently, wash himself, and much more. Since he couldn’t express his feelings and other communication ways are not yet available, it was difficult to know the extent of his impairment, but we did know that he would need a lot of treatment and rehabilitation to recover. We were really concerned that the costs of both treatment and rehabilitation would be impossible to cover.

I set up a crowd-funding page and used it to reach out to people to generate funds. In the end, contributions from insurance meant that we had more money than we needed. I wanted to honor the generosity of everyone who had contributed by making a donation that would help fight stroke everywhere in the world. The World Stroke Organization is working hard to raise awareness of stroke. Awareness is very important - not everyone in the world knows the danger of stroke. For stroke survivors in many countries people are not aware of that there is hope and that stroke can be treated, that people can recover with the right rehabilitation. They give up gave up on their their loved ones and family members thinking that they are not capable of recovering at all. We saw in WSO an organization that believes, as we do, that with proper education, treatment and rehabilitation, almost every stroke survivor can be able to get back to normal life again.

Ajeng’s father has made a good recovery from his stroke, but her family's experience shows that stroke can happen to anyone, anywhere. If stroke does strike whether that's close to home or far away, we all want the people we love will receive the best possible care and treatment. Donate now and help us deliver improvements in stroke prevention, treatment and care around the world.

Supporting the global fight against stroke - Ajeng's fundraising inspiration Reviewed by Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 Rating: 5

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