Tracy Ward's husband Stephen had a stroke at their home in Denman New South Wales at the age of 48.

Tracy writes "I learned very quickly to become Stephen’s advocate. I was 36 years old and a reasonably confident young woman but not incredibly so. I think in the early days I faked it a bit because I didn’t want anyone to see how scared I was about our future.

When the ICU specialist told me he didn’t think Stephen would survive and started listing all of the disabilities that Stephen would have if he did survive and that he would probably need to be put into a nursing home, I felt like he may have been asking me to withdraw treatment. Instead I remember looking at that doctor and telling him to just keep Stephen alive and let me deal with afterwards.

I look back now and recognise that I was indeed advocating for Stephen, my husband, my intelligent civil engineer who loves politics and the Manly Sea Eagles. He isn’t just any person, he is MY person and he was going to have all of my support."

Read Tracy's full story