Old man’s near-death stroke experience

AustraliaAfter being hospitalized for a stroke, “life” was the only idea that existed in the mind of 78-year-old Kevin Handforth.

The old man, who lived alone in the suburbs of Perth, woke up on the floor of his bedroom in the early morning, completely losing feeling on the left side of his body.

“I saw blood everywhere because I fell on my head and realized I had a stroke. I tried to get up but couldn’t and thought ‘How can I get out of this?'”, He said.

Handforth said when the stroke occurred, he was still aware he needed to call an ambulance. But his cell phone is on the living room table.

“I was lying on my back on the floor and dragged myself with my feet. Luckily there was no carpet in the house,” he said.

Carefully he slid through the bedroom and down the hallway and into the living room to pick up his phone. Realizing he couldn’t open the main door, he began to grab a wheeled chair and climb up.

That journey took up to 4 hours. So by the time he arrived at the hospital, it was too late to perform long-term harm reduction surgery. He suffered from severe brain damage – a condition that paralyzed the hemiplegia of the stroke survivor.

Mr. Handforth became one of 150 stroke patients participating in the research program at Osborne Park Hospital, aimed at raising awareness of the disease. He is also among the rare 7% of people with severe hemiplegia who have recovered enough to return home from rehabilitation.

Mr. Kevin Handforth looks forward to returning to the golf course after recovering from his stroke. Image: ABC News

When he first arrived at the treatment center, he needed two assistants to walk, stand, and get up from bed. Four months later, he was able to walk and climb stairs by himself. Although he could not draw and write back as he liked, he was still able to swing his golf club in the backyard and boldly bet with his friends that he would return to the training ground next July.

Physiotherapist coordinator Jess Nolan, who led the study at Osborne Park, said Handforth was the best testament to the work’s key message.

“Kevin shows that people who have had a stroke can still change their condition and get rehabilitation,” she said.

But she is concerned that too many patients cannot get well.

“There are people who have not been given a chance to regain function, especially in case of severe stroke or hemiplegia. They are considered incapable of recovery,” she said.

“This is why our research is so important,” Nolan added. “We show that most people, even in the worst of situations, can change.”

The team of experts assesses patients every three months for up to a year after they have had a stroke. The first phase, now complete, uses hospital databases to review more than 1,000 stroke cases since 2005.

Experts hope the research will promote additional funding to restore function for people with hemiplegic brain stroke. They do not seem to receive much attention from the health system, even though they account for half of all stroke survivors.

Mr. Handforth in rehabilitation exercises with Yee Ching Wong nurse.  Photo: ABC News

Mr. Handforth in rehabilitation exercises with Yee Ching Wong nurse. Image: ABC News

“We have studied the medical model and have found that the support time for rehabilitation for a hemiplegic stroke is not long enough. Increasing the cost of rehabilitation can help reduce the cost of long-term care. term, “said Ms. Nolan.

In Australia, there is one stroke every 10 minutes and one in 4 people has a stroke at least once in their lifetime. Between 1980 and 2016, the death rate from stroke decreased by about 75%.

“There will be more Australians living in stroke sequelae in the coming years, so it is important to make sure their needs are being met,” said Nolan. Rehabilitation is good for patients with muscle atrophy “.

It is the largest work in the stroke field to date, which is receiving funding from the WA Health Agency and the Raine Medical Research Foundation. The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Meanwhile, Mr. Handforth is determined to continue to improve his health.

“I tried tiling, mixing mortar like before, but it was a bit difficult to use one hand. What I’ve done all my life, I want to do it again. I know it’s impossible but still try,” he said. shall.

Thuc Linh (According to the ABC)


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