Erin Adams was only 31 when she suffered a stroke.
In minutes it left her without feeling in her right arm and face.
Three years later, the Kellyville mum has almost fully recovered and now regularly shares her story in the hope of educating people about the journey during - and after - a stroke.
Ms Adams will be one of the speakers at a free community forum, held during Westmead Hospital’s Hospital Week, focusing on what to do when a stroke strikes.
The mother-of-one still remembers the night of June 22, 2014, which changed her life forever.
Ms Adams picked up the remote to change the channel when she realised she couldn’t grip it.
She noticed her hands looked strange and she rushed to get her husband, Liam.
“I stood in the doorway and I tried to tell my husband to call the ambulance but he couldn’t understand me,” Ms Adams said. “It was absolutely terrifying.”
Within minutes she had lost feeling to her right arm and face. She had another stroke before Westmead doctors administered the medication that saved her life. Ms Adam, a qualified trainer, has since used her experience to develop the Moments of Truth training sessions, sharing her journey with healthcare providers, in the hope of creating better understanding about the patient experience.
“I realised I had a voice and an experience to share, in the hope of activating change,” Ms Adams said.
“Talking about my stroke is still very raw but being able to share the story with people is amazing.
“If I can help someone who has had a stroke realised that there is potential for something different or sometimes good things can come out of it, that’s fantastic.”
Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. In 2017, there will be almost 56,000 new and recurrent strokes- that’s one stroke every three minutes. The community forum will include information on identifying a stroke, treatments and recovery education from the Westmead Stroke Unit team.
It will run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Wednesday, August 16 at Westmead Education and Conference Centre.
- Book: 8890 7983.