Thursday, May 11, 2017

Stroke survivor stories - Mr Nishantha

Mr Nishantha was only 29 and about to become a father for the first time when he had a stroke. Read his story here:

Where were you when you had your stroke?  
I am 29 years old. I got married one year ago, and my wife is expecting. On 21st January 2017, I attended the funeral of my friend and came back home around 3 am the following day. Soon after, I entered the bathroom and had a quick wash. I remembered that I came out of the bathroom. After that, I could not remember anything that happened. I could remember things only 20 days after the incident. 

Could you access hospital?
I was found fallen on the floor by my wife with weakened right side of my body. Although she was pregnant she had managed to admit me to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. The local hospital authority had decided to transfer me to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka in Colombo. So the same day, I was admitted to a neuro-surgical ward in the National Hospital and I was investigated. I was found to have bleeding in the left brain by a CT scan of the brain and transferred to a neurology ward on the following day without any surgical intervention.

What expectations did you have for your treatment, rehabilitation and recovery?
Three days later, I was transferred to the stroke unit for rehabilitation. By that time, I was conscious, but not alert and rational. I was aphasic, couldn’t move my right side of the body including my right side of the face, couldn’t swallow, couldn’t see my right side and had incontinence. I was looked after and given the care by my own brother, around February 11th I could remember things and I was alert as well as rational.

What was your experience of treatment and/or rehabilitation?
The stroke team is very specialised, giving multi-disciplinary tasks with targets on a daily basis. The head of the team is a senior consultant neurologist, who leads other doctors, nurses, therapists, counsellors and social service officers. As I was a young hypertensive and a young stroke survivor, I was investigated thoroughly. By the time I had the stroke, I was suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and  high cholesterol.

What has helped you in your recovery?
I was asked to continue drugs to prevent a secondary stroke and to control risk factors. I was advised to continue speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy regularly. I was fed through a nasogastric tube and there was a urinary catheter inserted.

What have been/are your fears?
I was shocked by hearing the tragedy I had gone through. I had spent my all fearful days unaware. So beyond that I didn’t have any fears but expectations to get rid of the disabilities quickly. The most troublesome disability was the communication difficulty. I could understand what I was told but I couldn’t express my feelings as they were (expressive dysphasia).

How did your family and friends feel and respond?
My wife, my parents and my brother were around me to give the maximum care. After one month and 10 days of hospital stay, I was able to walk out of the hospital without support with restored good communication skills, normal swallowing, right side vision and good continence.

I would like to thank everybody that helped me to survive from the dreadful stroke. Now I expect to go to work as early as possible. May the triple gem bless them all!!

The stories of stroke survivors are what drives our fight at the World Stroke Organization to achieve our goal of a world free from stroke. Welcome to our stroke survivor stories series, which we'll pop up on the blog every Thursday, you may wish to contribute to this poignant narrative of stroke globally. Please contact

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