Brooke Parsons

A story about Brooke Parsons

I am 27 years old and I am a stroke survivor. One day I was fit, healthy and I thought invincible. Ever since I received the bullet to the "brain", I've carried the tag 'disabled' and envy the mobility of any elderly citizen. Fourteen years ago I became a stroke survivor and since then I have also been diagnosed with a Mitral Heart Valve Prolapse, Polycyctic Overian Syndrome and Hypoglocemia. Being a young person with a chronic condition is a tough gig.

I am a happy go lucky young lady however at times I have cried openly, the kind of tears that make people intensely chilled or moved. The world at the time of becoming a stroke survivor seemed sour to me, like a musical note that was flat when a crescendo was expected. There have been fleeting moments when I have doubted I would ever be an independent person again... but I found I could. I have.

Over the last 14 years, I have really enjoyed my life as a stroke survivor. Although the rehabilitation has seemed long it seems secondary to the friendships I have been lucky to form. I have formed a great bond with many patients and staff as there is a common understanding that is hard to find in the ordinary world. I have enjoyed being able to relate to others, being able to laugh about my conditions and not always be serious about it but most of all being able to express what I feel without being judged differently.

Being a young person with chronic conditions has brought every emotion you can think of - joy, happiness, tears, anger, frustration and laughs. The staff, patients, families and friends have been very supportive to me.

Everyone hears of miracles and I am never going to let my conditions get to me - there was a very small chance I would walk again. I have! I have a limp but I am walking. Hope for my hand lives within me. I am fighting every step of the way but with realism and acceptance, thanks to my determination and all those who have supported me.

Today, I am an Integration Aide at a secondary college. I am the Ambassador for the National Stroke Foundation and I am highly involved in the Stroke Association of Victoria. My role is to speak to the public about strokes occurring in young people and providing support to stroke survivors. I am the co-leader of the Young Victorian Stroke Support Group and I am involved in Strokidz. I am so lucky to have the constant love and support from everyone.

I wish I could say what the future holds for me but to be honest I am not sure, I guess thats why I get up after falling and get myself back into the silly race of life. So its taken a long time, a lot of pain to get where I am today and sometimes I feel like an old teddy, all tattered and falling apart at the seams. I have the scars to prove it!

Brooke is a founding member of the Young Victorian Stroke Support Group. This
group invites young survivors from fourteen years old to become involved with their group.

You can email Brooke,

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