Read more stories from the Browning family.

1. Please share a little about how you felt when you first realised your loved one had had a stroke?

The morning after my sister had her stroke I was woken up by my parents and was told that my older sister had been rushed to the hospital late the night before and that she had just had a stroke, I was really shocked and surprised at only 19 this could happen, she could have a stroke and her life was in danger. After I realised that if she did fall asleep that night that she may not have woken up, I was deeply shocked, sad, and shaken.

2. What questions, worries or concerns did you have at the time?

My main questions that at the time were, why did this stroke happen to a healthy 19-year-old girl? and I was worried that my sister could have died from something that was an unknown risk to me for younger people.

3. What information and resources did you receive that helped you understand more about stroke?

One major factor that helped me understand what a stroke is and how it could affect a person’s life, was going onto the stroke foundations website. I searched on my phone and the information was there about the signs of stroke and the many stories of stroke survivors, which helped me to clearly understand what a stroke was and how It affected a person’s life.

4. What challenges did your loved one face during their stroke recovery?

The major challenges that I saw and knew of was that my sister was always very tired, I think this affected her day-to-day life because she couldn’t do some things she used to any more from the tiredness and she had to stop doing things completely for a while to rest and recover.

5. Did you reach out for support and talk to others about your loved one having a stroke?

At first, I didn’t really think that telling anyone else would change anything because luckily my sister was fine and came home but having my family to talk about it was all I needed.

6. What advice would you give someone else about helping their loved ones in their stroke recovery?

The one thing that I would say to anyone with loved ones going through stroke recovery is to always let them have control and to not let them feel that they are the only person who has had a stroke at such a young age and that you are there to help them in any way possible.

7. Were you aware of signs of stroke before your loved one had their stroke?

Yes, I was because at school and surf club we were taught these things and also from the internet, so I had a rough understanding of the topic of stroke.

8. How did the stroke affect other family members?

Personally, I don’t think that I was affected that much because I thought that she was fine, so nothing else matters. I think that my mum and dad were very traumatised by the event, especially my mum because she was the first person to see my sister, talk to her and see she couldn’t speak and was with her all the time after she had the stroke.

9. What other resources could have helped you at that time?

I think that at the time I was ok, and the resources already shown to me was enough.

10. What is the biggest win and positive outcome you have seen your loved one achieve since they had their stroke, that you would share with others who have had a stroke to give inspire them  and give them hope for the future?

One major positive outcome I’ve seen my sister achieve was to go ahead and focus on becoming a nurse she never gave up and always stayed put on her journey and after all the hard work she has achieved her goal and has become a nurse!

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