Belinda H

Photo of Belinda HI am … A Survivor.

It was Friday the 23rd of October 2015. It had been the end of a great afternoon with friends, playing in the park with my children and eating icream. When we got home we hung Halloween decrorations in the yard. It was 6.30pm on a Friday night and I was standing in the kitchen, my four children running around excited about watching a movie and eating pizza.

I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my back behind my right shoulder. Like someone had stabbed me. I winced in pain and grabbed my shoulder but carried on normally thinking I must of pinched a nerve after hanging up decorations. For a split second a thought crossed my mind about my heart. I was born with a congenitial heart defect that was only discovered later in life as an adult and I was aware I was at risk of stroke but I was 39 years old, I didn’t drink or smoke and was super healthy and again I disregarded the thought and followed my daughters to thier room. Still feeling odd on my right side I lay down on the floor hoping to stretch and feel better. Then I discovered couldn’t get up. I asked my daughters to roll me onto my left side. My right side had gone limp. I made it to the kitchen and called my husband. I wasnt quite sure what was going on but could he come home- now ! He was an hour away, he had just finished work. My husband told me to take some asprin but when I walked to pantry I couldnt reconize anything, my mouth began to sag on the right side and thats when I knew I was having Stroke.

I asked my eldest daughter who was 11, to call our neighbour to come over. I talked to my neighbour who called 911 while I lay down. By the time the paramedics arrive my speech was failing. When I was I put in the ambulance and wheeled away I was unable to say goodbye to my 4 children. I felt trapped in a glass house, concious of my surroundings but unable to communicate. From there began the emtional roller coaster of the ER and ICU, as they debated on whether to give me TPA. My husband arrived and decided that the drug was to be admistered and to this day we are very grateful for the care I did recieve. If this had happened in my home country of Australia I wouldn’t have been so lucky or be as well as I am today as TPA is not avaliable to everyone. I feel so lucky to live in the USA. This country saved my life. The doctors and nurses who cared for me were amazing. We feel blessed to be here.

Today I am recovering and looking forward to happy and healthy year in 2016.