Johns Courage To Be Recognised At National Awards

Stroke Foundation

A Drysdale survivor of stroke who made it his mission to walk again in time to farewell his mother has been recognised for his courage.

John O’Dowd had a stroke in 2023, a few years after having a heart attack. He had to learn how to walk again and during the rehabilitation process was dealt another blow; his mother fell ill and passed away.

During this difficult time, John turned his grief into motivation and set himself a goal to walk out of rehabilitation to attend his mother’s funeral. To the surprise of doctors and physiotherapists, John achieved this after just only three weeks of rehabilitation.

Now he is being recognised for his courage, being named a finalist for the Courage Award for the Stroke Foundation Stroke Awards.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lisa Murphy, commended John on his achievement.

“The Courage Award recognises courage and hope shown by survivors and carers in stroke recovery and John has shown immense courage. He overcame major emotional and physical challenges to be able to attend his mother’s funeral which would’ve been a tough moment for him.”

The Stroke Awards celebrate the unsung heroes in our community who go above and beyond to improve the lives of Australians affected by stroke. This includes the survivors of stroke, carers, volunteers, fundraisers, health professionals and researchers and members of the community.

The finalists for the Courage Award are:

  • Rebecca Schmidt-Lachlan – New South Wales
  • Michael Denehy – Queensland
  • John O’Dowd – Victoria

There are eight categories in total: Warrior, Improving Life After Stroke, Creative, Courage, First Nations Stroke Excellence, Fundraiser of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and President’s Achievement.

The 2024 Stroke Awards are supported by Medtronic, Abbvie, Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), Ipsen, NAB, Precision Connect and Worrells.

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