Personal Stroke Stories

When a stroke happens to you or someone you love, it can be very upsetting and challenging. It's good to know a stroke does not always mean the end of the road. Here are some personal stories about people who have overcome many difficulties posed by stroke and who continue to live happy, productive lives. If you have a personal story of stroke, why not share it with us?


Judith Dixon

Brushstrokes Judith Dixon

Regaining as much as possible of how you were before is the goal of every stroke survivor. But what if you were a painter and the stroke took away the power in your brush hand? That’s the challenge that faced artist Judith Dixon when she had a series of strokes aged 69 in 2010.

Sarah Stead and her children

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Sarah Stead – Stroke Survivor

“I felt trapped inside my body. I knew that everything that was 'me' was still there, but I couldn't communicate. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through.”

Sarah’s life was turned upside down by stroke.

At the start of last year, Sarah was an active mum and a confident, bubbly teacher looking forward to the birth of her third child. But all that changed in an instant.

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David BryceDavid Bryce

Most people suffering from a recent stroke decide to take it easy for a while. Not so, David Bryce.
Within a month of suffering from a stroke in March 2011 he had contacted his lawyers and put an offer on the historic steam train, The Kingston Flyer, on the southern shore of Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown. His solicitor responded: “Are you for real?”

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Roger Lampen - It's All In  The MindRoger Lampen

Successful businessman Roger Lampen was fit, healthy and ready for anything when he embarked on a cycling tour in 2007 through the Himalayas. The tour was Roger’s biggest adventure ever – until his life was changed forever by a stroke.

Founder of the Lampen Group, Roger has had an extensive career in the staff recruitment sector, and was a keen cyclist outside of work. Roger says he had no idea there was anything wrong until the day the stroke occurred.

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Ricky Te WhareRicky Te Whare

Ricky Te Whare says going to the doctor because he felt ‘something wasn’t quite right’ saved his life. Ricky’s doctor found his blood pressure was sky high and sent him straight to hospital. When Ricky got to hospital, he learned he had had a stroke. He was 41 years old.

“If you’re going to have a stroke, hospital’s the right place to have it,” says Ricky. “If I’d ignored my intuition, and gone to bed instead of to the afterhours doctors, I would never have woken up. Because I was in hospital, they could start to treat me straight away.”

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Grant Bayley

20 July 2001, I was driving home from a busy week at work on a Friday. I had cleared the mailbox and was heading home to Mt Albert. At the traffic lights at the top of Franklin Road my right hand and foot started going numb. The lights turned green; I think I'd better find a place to pull over and seek help.

I drove up Ponsonby Road to Willianson Ave where I found a car park. Control over my right leg and hand was fading! I just needed to walk over to the shop to get help. Whoops, I fell out of the car onto the road SPLAT!!! What? Now I can't walk? A passing taxi driver stopped and helped me back into my vehicle and called for an Ambulance. Incredible help really.

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