Greg makes waves in stroke recovery

Stroke Foundation

Greg Hamilton was in his favourite place when a stroke changed his life. His wife Naomi Mallin and the couple’s dog Suede were watching on from one of their favourite surf breaks at the time.

“Greg was around 150 metres offshore and there was a decent swell rolling in. His right hand had slipped off his paddle, he couldn’t grasp it. Then his leg completely gave way and he fell of his board,” Naomi said.

“At first, I thought he had injured his shoulder, then I realised it was much more serious. We were very lucky that there were other people on the beach at the time, and we were able to get Greg out of water and get him the help that he needed.”

Greg was taken by the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service to Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital where he received life-saving medical treatment.

Now 14 months on, Greg’s rehab is ongoing back home in Exmouth. While he is no longer able to surf, he uses the ocean as part of his recovery.

“I’m 75 now, and I have been surfing since I was 12 years old. Recovery is not only about the treatments the therapists provide, but also about finding activities that motivate you, and for us that’s the ocean,” Greg said.

In support of Greg and the hundreds of other West Australian survivors of stroke, Naomi has taken on the challenge of moving her body every day this month, by walking, surfing, swimming, stand up paddle boarding and doing yoga.

Naomi has already raised more than $2,400 for Stride4Stroke. The annual fundraiser encourages Australians to get active to reduce their risk of stroke. Participants set an activity goal to increase their daily ‘moving minutes’ by walking, running, swimming, or cycling.

“The amount of support we’ve received from the Exmouth community has been really amazing, they’ve really been there us,” Naomi said.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr Lisa Murphy congratulated Greg and Naomi for their efforts and urged all West Australians to follow in their footsteps.

“Research has shown that just 30 minutes of exercise five times a week can reduce your stroke risk by 25 per cent,” Dr Murphy said.

“Stride4Stroke is a great starting point to make the changes that can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes which are all modifiable risk factors of stroke.”   

 Stride4Stroke runs throughout November. Every dollar raised will have an enormous impact by helping Stroke Foundation fight stroke, fund research and support survivors and their families at all stages of the recovery journey.

Support Naomi and Greg at the website.

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