Ironman Champions Long Road To Recovery After Stroke

Stroke Foundation

Arthur Shaw completed his 18th ironman a few months before stroke changed his life.

It was October 2022 when the Soldiers Hill man began to feel unwell while going for a walk. His wife, Sharine, recognised the crucial F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech and Time) signs and called for help. Arthur arrived at hospital within 20 minutes and was able to receive lifesaving clot dissolving treatment.

It was a huge shock to Arthur, who was an 18-time Ironman Australia athlete and 2007 World Ironman Championships.

“I like to call it my stroke of luck. I was told by the health professionals that I was very lucky, and it was my health and fitness that prevented the stroke from being catastrophic,” Arthur said.

“I didn’t find out until afterwards, but I had experienced six TIA’s which were warning signs for a bigger stroke in the future.”

Aged just 56-years-old at the time, Arthur began his long road to recovery. He was unable to drive for a month after his stroke and started walking every day.

This month, he’s taking part in Stroke Foundation’s 76km in May, which helps support the 76 Australians who will experience their first stroke today, and every day.

“At first, I really hated walking, but the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it. Now I see the health benefits of walking and go every day,” he said.

“Now I have a passion for it and walk for my mental health. I am even working on a target to compete next year’s Ironman.”

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr Lisa Murphy said one million strokes a year globally are linked to physical inactivity.

“Walking 76km throughout the month of May averages out to a manageable 2.5km walk each day. The average walker will spend around 30 minutes to complete the 2.5kms,” Dr Murphy said. 

“Just 30 minutes of exercise five times a week can reduce your stroke risk by 25 per cent.

“Arthur is playing a key role in educating more Victorians about the link between inactivity and stroke, all while lowering his own stroke risk, and raising much needed funds for Stroke Foundation.”

An Australian has a stroke every 19 minutes. Arthur is among the 113,000 survivors of stroke living in Victoria. Regional Australians are 17 per cent more likely to have a stroke than people in metropolitan areas.

Stroke is a leading cause of disability in Australia. It kills more men than prostate cancer and more women than breast cancer.  

Support Arthur’s fundraiser at the website:

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