Young stroke survivor Emily Curry reflects on her life a year after her stroke:
A year ago, my life changed forever. I was on my lunch break at work, talking to my best friend when all of a sudden, my world went dark, my eyesight had gone and I remember feeling like my head was being taken over by a fire. I remember my best friend shouting for someone to get help. No one knew what was happening to me, least of all myself. I was 23 years old, and I was having a stroke.
I remember being told that there was no ambulance available for me. Luckily my manager thought quickly and drove me to the hospital himself. If it wasn't for him, my diagnosis and after-effects would have been life-altering.
My stroke affected the left side of my brain, and the right side of my body. In the months after the stroke, my family and friends worked with me as I put myself back together. I was lucky to only be left with a right-sided weakness and some damage to my short term memory. What was far worse was surviving the depression the stroke left behind. I didn't want to get out of bed in the morning, unable to work, or drive I felt stranded. If it wasn't for the support of my close family and friends I honestly don't know where I'd be today.
A year on from my stroke, and I'm back at work, I'm driving and I'm living as normal a life as I can. I realise how lucky I am to be in this position so soon. And I couldn't be more grateful. Because of my experience, I am preparing to start fundraising for a skydive I'm doing in September, all proceeds will go towards the Stroke Association, and helping raise awareness. A stroke can affect anyone, no matter the age, race, health or circumstance. A stroke doesn't consider these things.
If I can pull anything positive from my experience I will. I want people to know there is a life after having a stroke. I'm lucky enough to have come out the other side, and I want to do as much as I can to help others like me. To anyone who has been affected by stroke, regardless if it was direct, or if someone close to you has been affected, you are so strong, and we will fight this together.