The European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) has launched the #BrainLifeGoals campaign with the aim of raising awareness of the problems and difficulties people with neurological disorder are facing. The Stroke Association of Serbia is taking part in this campaign by posting stories of younger stroke survivors and exploring their life goals. While healthy people can dream of new cars, designer clothes or traveling, all stroke victims dream of being able to either walk again, read, write or speak, etc.
It is well known that stroke can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. This is a story about a young girl who had a stroke at the age of 18.
B.S, an economist from Belgrade, had a stroke at the age of 18.
B emphasises that she had led a healthy lifestyle. She had never smoked, and she occasionally did recreational sports. She had never been obese (she claims that she was too thin). The only problem she had had was low blood pressure. In May 2003 while she was out for a walk, she felt a sharp pain between the head and heart, just like a ‘flash’. She felt nauseous and sleepy and she vomited immediately. Since it had never happened before, she was afraid. She felt dizzy so she decided to have a rest. Luckily, her neighbour who is a doctor was passing by. B explained what had just happened and her neighbour, recognising the urgency of the situation, took B to the Clinical Centre. Meanwhile, her state got worse. She was confused and talked incoherently. After obtaining CT scan, she was diagnosed with a hemorrhagic stroke. She spent 15 days in the Department of Neurosurgery, Clinical Centre of Serbia. She had an angiography, peformed by the late professor Prstojevic and Dr Janicijevic. The examination showed that there was no aneurysm.
B says that after all these years her stroke hasn’t had any lasting consequences, apart from putting on weight due to lying in bed and inactivity, which sometimes, causes her discomfort. (Lying in bed, in cases of hemorrhagic stroke, is necessary. Being in upright position in the beginning can lead to adverse effects.) After some time, B could spend time outdoors in the fresh air, avoiding direct and long exposure to the sun. She could do some light recreational sports- cycle, swim, etc. Once she was fully recovered she decided to finish high school and afterwards she finished Higher Business School as Services Manager. She works in a civil engineering company on an administrative position.
“Her main goal was to be able do the everyday activities she used to do, like going for a walk or hanging out with friends”
During B’s recovery process her main goal was to be able do the everyday activities she used to do, like going for a walk or hanging out with friends and her sisters from whom she had huge support. She missed her usual way of life and now that she has fully recovered, she can enjoy her freedom again.
“Stroke can happen to anyone and it is crucial for people to take good care of their health, reduce stress and stay active.”
B states that stroke can happen to anyone and it is crucial for people to take good care of their health, reduce stress and stay active. We need to accept life circumstances as they are. It is important to pay attention to things we eat and the things that ‘eat’ us! Reduce, or even better, quit smoking and unhealthy food.
We are grateful to B for this inspiring story. We have learnt that stroke can, unfortunately, happen even to teenagers. However, one must never give in, just like B. who continued education, finished Higher Business School and found a job. What an amazing story!
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