A negative turned to a real positive

I was 9 months old when I had a stroke (I’m now 62) My uncle told me it was caused by an infection. I have right-sided hemiparesis. My hand faces the wrong direction and I’ve got a decent limp., and my speech, and cognition was affected
I used to be really ashamed of my right hand so would hide it in my pocket when walking down the street. I had no idea how bad my BP or cholesterol were until 2012 when I met Suzanne who took me to her doctor. He laid bare the “damage” as Suzanne puts it. My blood pressure was way too high, cholesterol just as bad and now I’m on medication but I’m grateful for that,


Hi @MrSpratt and welcome to the forum :people_hugging: And WOW, only 9 months old when you had your stroke! :hushed:
And here you are now to tell your story, but that must have been so hard on your parents at the time and for you growing up :smile:
It sounds like you’ve got a good woman in Suzanne so take care of you both now.

Thank you for giving us your story tonight, that will mean so much to so many stroke survivors here on the forum and gives hope for our own futures. I look forward to seeing you around the forum :smile:


I would like to hear more about you and how you have adapted, recovered, lived your life. I am certain having a stroke as such a young child would be a very different experience from those of us who have had them as older adults. So many people do not realize strokes can happen at any age and are most especially likely for mothers during childbirth and people with heart or vein birth defects. Best wishes to you and your Suzanne.

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Hello and welcome @MrSpratt

Clearly what we say in a typical welcome to new people won’t apply to you - in fact I’d (we’d?) love to hear more of your story .

I’ve heard of strokes occurring pre-birth and in all stages of childhood but I’ve never ‘met’ and had opportunity to hear the experiences of somebody who’s lived with stroke’s affects like you

You’ll doubtless have perspective we don’t and vice versa - eg we have a sense of sudden loss but haven’t had to endure a childhood with able bodied & likely teasing schoolmates

We’ve also had benefit of the advances in chronic-care medicine since the 60s. In some cases to know that there but not available and in others to benefit from a use to effect good capability

I for one would welcome hearing more of your observations. Your topic title of a negative turned into a real positive is entirely intriguing. Please tell us about the positives, it’s probable that we have shared appreciation of the negatives - it’s also true that there are many posts on here that are uplifting ( in my humble opinion the best of which was deleted last week :frowning: )

What have been your real positives and how did you embrace or achieve them in both mindset and body?

I believe community is an important part of sense making on our journeys & is also the power to forge changes amongst those who have a duty of care but not the lived experience to know viscerally how to discharge that duty.


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Hi DeAnn

Back in the 60s your parents just pretty much accepted the doctors word as gospel without asking questions, well that’s what my mum did. Dad just went to work and pretty much treated me the same as my brother and sister. My aunty took me for physio. I went to a school for crippled children and then onto mainstream schooling. Secondary school was extremely difficult for me, I’m not a fast reader or writer so reading books for class was hard and I was not good at maths. I’m still not. There was only one person who took exception to me but the other kids were alright. I was always put back a year but once again there wasn’t the teacher aids that kids have today.

I left school and in 1979 had an operation to try and figure my hand. Sadly this didn’t work and well the hand is the hand. Uncooperative. I got my drivers licence in 1986 and drove for a bit which I loved. I got a job as the shop keeper at an electrical firm but that closed down so I got a job at a high school as a gofa for the teachers. Both jobs were awesome but both were too easily taken away. While all this was going on I still struggled with the appearance of my arm. I made a chopping board with nails in to make it easier to cut vegetables

I joined Harriers and ran from Clyde to Alexandra (6.2miles or 10kms) I fell outside a dairy in Alexandra but was supported and encouraged to make it to the finish line

I learned to play lawn bowls and enjoyed that right up until last year when our club closed. People were a bit nasty to me and absolutely nasty to Suzanne.

I have had a great many falls and hav the scars to prove it!

Suzanne took some photos of me when we got slightly lost in Germany trying to go from Berlin to Bad Kissingen and ended up in Munich (we were supposed to change train somewhere but we both missed it and so Suzanne took a photo of me with the caption for our scrapbook. If you locate this man please send him to Bad Kissingen then she took a photo of my hand which has the caption He has a very distinct locator beacon! Then one of me with a beer in Munich. Welcome to Munich Oops too far! Such a giggle! I don’t mind that it’s hilarious to me. Certainly the northern hemisphere are better at dealing with disabled people than New Zealand will ever be! But then again I don’t have any of the hospital notes from when I was little because if you don’t remain in the system for 10 years all your notes are culled.


It would be great if you hung around and shared your stories. As you learn more about how the platform works you might spot the little icon of the bottom of the edit area that allows you to post pictures .

If you ever wanted to post your having a beer in Munich picture etc :slight_smile: ?

Suzanne must be a godsend - I know my Lea is



@MrSpratt hi & welcome to the forum. Having a stroke at such a young age must have brought many difficulties as you navigated your childhood & your parents would no doubt have had a difficult time too. I’m sure medical treatment back then was nothing like it is now.

It’s great to read how you’ve navigated spme of the difficulties and emerged the other side. Suzanne sounds like a great support to you.

Your story about ending up in Munich made me chuckle. It’s so easy to miss a train stop & I have met many who have done that but not in such nice places.

Look forward to hearing more from you.

Best wishes



I am going to assume you are somewhere near my age now, only because you mentioned the 60s and Harriers. We did accept as gospel what a doctor, clergyman, policeman, or politician said back then, as well as what our parents said. In some ways it was probably better because you can easily become mired in the victim identity with all the healthcare issues being in the forefront. Although many more people live to tell their stories these days.

I absolutely love the humorous outlook of Suzanne and yourself. Sometimes we have to be serious, but I for one, need a break from it. I call my tremoring dancing and switch it to a jig as the tremors go away. My grandson feels safe enough to taunt me these days. I love it. It isn’t mean so much as him telling me he is no longer afraid I will keel over and die in front of him.

As a midlife person discovering what stroke means is hard, but much easier on me than on those who live with me and knew me as a different person before. They are more worried than I am, and more uncertain of what to do. The grandson handles me very well. As if he knows just how far to push, and is a sentinel when something seems off to him. He is my ‘person’ who just gets it.

You visited here for a reason. I am wondering what you were hoping to find and hope you are finding it here. This group has been awesome for my recovery, for support, information, a smile or laugh.


I’ve spotted Suzanne’s addition of the Munich beer that she said yesterday she had uploaded :slight_smile:

It will be on all your posts now

It was great to meet you both yesterday

Ciao Simon