Claremont woman Sarah Cruse, 25, knows just how precious life is after a terrifying brush with stroke in 2016.
Sarah spent 12 days in an induced coma fighting for her life following her stroke. Today, with determination and hard work, Sarah is now preparing to fulfill a goal to trek Tasmania’s legendary Overland Track in March.
By walking the track Sarah is aiming to raise awareness of stroke and funds for the Stroke Foundation.
Sarah said she was not able to talk or read after her stroke and she suffered from fatigue, but after intensive rehabilitation she is back at work, has regained her driver’s licence and, most importantly, her independence.
“Having a stroke at 22 came as a huge shock for me and my family,” Sarah said.
“I had surgery on my brain and skull three times and my parents were told there was a strong chance I would not survive, but I refused to give up. That’s been my attitude all along.”
Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan applauded Sarah for her tenacity and commitment to her recovery, adding stroke was more common among people of working age than many realised.
“There are more than 140,000 Australian stroke survivors of working age, most living with some form or ongoing disability,” Ms McGowan said.
“Stroke attacks the brain, the human control centre, and changes lives in an instant. But the good news is with the right treatment at the right time, along with the right support in rehabilitation, many people are able live well after stroke.
“Sarah’s determination to put on her hiking boots to trek the Overland Track is testament to what can be achieved.”
Sarah is looking forward to sharing her March 19 “Hike 4 Stroke Awareness” from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clare with three friends and encouraged other stroke survivors to keep striving for their dreams.
“Stroke brings physical and mental challenges, but I had wonderful support from my family and friends. I am stronger now than I was before,” Sarah said.
“One day at a time, that’s all it takes.”
Sarah is passionate about raising funds for the Stroke Foundation to help other stroke survivors and to raise awareness that stroke can happen at any age.
Sarah is well on track to reaching her target of $1500. If you would like to support Sarah and help the Stroke Foundation in its mission to prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery.