Suffering a stroke at 19 years old - Bianca Damon
My name is Bianca Damon and on the 3rd of March 2015 I suffered a sudden stoke at the tender age at 19.
The result of the stroke was a cerebral venous thrombosis, which is essentially a blood clot on the left side of my brain. With having a stroke one may face different challenges and difficulties. I lost movement on my rights arm and leg for about a day after having the stroke and I am very fortunate to have regained full range of movement. My biggest challenge was my ability to speak.
For those who do not know aphasia it is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contains language, which may cause difficulties in speech, listening, reading and writing, but does not affect your intelligence. I knew what I wanted to say, but was not able to bring it across. It is like being trapped in your own mind. I couldn’t read, write and only being able to say a handful of words, like mom and dad or yes and no.
During my three week stay at Groote Schuur Hospital it was extremely difficult to communicate to my loved ones, doctors and even with myself sometimes. I now attend extensive speech therapy, going from not being able to write a single letter to where I am now, being able to share my story to you in writing. Without the GSH speech theory department I wouldn’t be able to communicate. With the help and support from my family and friends who guided me to where I am today. Having a stroke is having a brain attack, but you can know you triggers.
In South Africa one of six people can have a stroke. That is more than 8 million South Africans, meaning that ten people can suffer a stroke in an hour and sixty people could die in one day. Stroke awareness day is the 29th October annually. I encourage those who had a stroke or the family who are affect to share their stories.
The more people that know, the more awareness we can raise. South Africa, get educated. Know your triggers. A stroke can happen to anyone no matter how young or old, race or religion. Help someone to save a life or even save your own. I will be part of stroke awareness day. Now I ask South Africa, will you?