In my quest to secure a dynamic guest speaker for our 2017 Townsville Hospital Stroke Forum, the Stroke Foundation recommended Shelagh Brennan, as a perfect fit to speak to our theme of ‘Young Stroke Survivors’. I emailed an invitation to Shelagh, who is based on the Sunshine Coast and immediately received a reply…Yes!!
Shelagh’s vibrant personality provided an instant lift to the stroke forum, consisting of approximately 80 multidisciplinary health professionals, as she shared with us her story before and after stroke.
Shelagh cleverly interwove excerpts from her book ‘A stroke of Poetry’ to provide a unique personal account of how she was feeling whilst in hospital and upon returning home, overcoming physical deficits and providing the audience with insight into her emotional rollercoaster post stroke. Shelagh, through the use of humour, spoke about topics often not addressed by health professionals within the hospital environment, including the effects of depression and debilitating fatigue. Shelagh also highlighted positive adjustments she made in regard to her valued roles as a wife and mother, and enabling active engagement in hobbies and other leisure pursuits.
Post the stroke forum many audience members stated that Shelagh’s presentation was the best of the day. Many also stated that listening to Shelagh’s inspiring journey challenged how they would work with their patients in the future, as they assist stroke survivors to strive for a fulfilling and enjoyable life.
Acute Stroke Unit
The Townsville Hospital ☺