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Stroke rehabilitation inspires Stroke4Stroke

Jeremy Naik, a radiographer at the time, was attending a cardiac conference in San Francisco in October 2015. That is when he suffered his first stroke. This is his story.

Jeremy Naik with Jenny and GeorgiaI suffered my first stroke while attending a conference overseas. This happened in my sleep and when my wife woke me in the morning, I was unable to speak and did not recognize my family.  I spent four days in hospital and recovered quickly.  I was fit to fly back home two weeks later. 

When we arrived back home I felt really good and no one could believe that I had suffered a stroke.  Three weeks later I began slurring my speech and making no sense at all.  It was then discovered that I had suffered a second stroke.  This time it was much worse.  I could not put two words together.  It was extremely hard time for me and for my family.

I was initially admitted to Peninsula Private hospital and then transferred to St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital for intense rehabilitation therapy. 

This is where I met my speech therapists, Georgia and Jenny.  I would see them every day for two weeks.  They were extremely kind and patient with me as I found it very frustrating at times.  I knew what I wanted to say but the words would just not come out. My background as a radiographer enabled me to understand what they wanted to achieve with me but I could not necessarily understand what was going on for me.

This was a very emotional time for me.  There were times when my wife and I would just sit and cry.  Physically I have no deficits but the stroke affected my speech and my memory.  I am still unable to read.

Once discharged from hospital I was then an outpatient. I saw Georgia twice a week.  She always gave me homework.  I told her “it was harder than going to school or work”. 

St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital Rehabilitation Physician Dr Abbott decided I could no longer return to work and the physiotherapist encouraged me to return to playing golf or to go to the gym. Returning to golf gave me a purpose.  A purpose to get up and interact with the other golfers.

As a keen golfer, I wanted to combine my personal experience with golf to help other stroke survivors. I want to encourage other stroke survivors and their families to accept their challenges and to keep moving forward.SJG Frankston patient Jeremy Naik (Stroke4Stroke)

Like golf, my faith was also my saving grace.  In my early years, I never went to church.  I always joked that I did not go to such “rough places”.  Five years ago, I started attending mass with my wife every Sunday this was the beginning of my faith journey. We never questioned “why us” as we knew that this was God’s plan, not just for me but for our family as well. God saw a way to bring my faith and life journeys together. 

Jeremy's own experienced inspired him to start Stroke4Stroke, a nonprofit entity, which helps people who have had a stroke get back on the golf green. In conjunction with Oz Assist, Stroke4Stroke is able to offer stroke survivors a way to move forward in their physical and mental rehabilitation and remain active in life. For more information about joining Stroke4Stroke - please email: stroke4stroke@ozassist.org