Stroke awareness week: life changing ramifications

STROKE Awareness Week is set to put the spotlight on our nation's second biggest killer.

Stroke Awareness Week will be held during the week of September 8-15, an annual campaign by the Stroke Recovery Association NSW to highlight the impact of stroke throughout the community.

Charles Parker is one resident who knows all too well the sudden impact stroke can wreak on your body and your future lifestyle.

The Forster retiree suffered two strokes within a three month period while working for Sydney Electricity in 1994.

The then 58-year-old was forced to retire, with losing the ability to work one of the many ramifications which would change his life forever.

"After the second one I couldn't actually walk or talk, it restricted me in every way," he said.

"They take your driver's licence straight off you and simple tasks become hard as you can't even do your buttons up quickly, it takes longer than normal."

The strokes also robbed Mr Parker from enjoying two of his life's passions.

"I couldn't play golf or go fishing for a while, as you lose half your strength straight away," he said.

"I did play golf for a while, but I can't swing a club anymore and I only go fishing now when my children come up to visit."

The stroke survivor has spent most of his retirement years in Forster.

The former Sydney resident moved with his wife Fay to the town in 2002, a sea change made while they were touring Australia.

"We did three trips around Australia and we were looking for a place to retire," he said.

"We'd visited Forster a few times, and we decided that it would be the place,

"And it's been a pretty good move as there is more of a sense of community than there is in Sydney, and I get a lot of support from the people around here."

For more information about Stroke Awareness Week and how you can become involved contact the executive officer of the Stroke Recovery Association, Michelle Sharkey on 1300 650 594.