Kate Laird

In July 2012, an Australian primary school teacher was celebrating the end-of-school-year with colleagues in London, when an intense headache hit, like a thunderclap and she felt a sudden urgency to sleep.  Eventually, Katrina was taken to hospital, where she was initially dismissed before doctors identified she had a massive stroke in her brain’s left hemisphere.  The delay in diagnoses resulted in the stroke causing full possible damage and left Katrina with a range of deficits.  Just 3 months later, another stroke struck the brain’s right hemisphere and resulted in severe short-term memory loss – think Lucy in 50 First Dates, but no Hawaii and no Adam Sandler – still, the recovery has been phenomenal in the past 2.5 years with her family collecting her from London to recover Down Under.  Katrina refers to her younger sister, Jacky, as her PA and together, with the assistance of her aptly titled blog, ‘Strokes Get The Blokes’, they aim to make their generation aware of strokes and their symptoms, as well as what life is like in the aftermath for a survivor, including loss, isolation and updated life goals, along with laughter being the best medicine in stroke rehabilitation.