Jackie’s story

At the Pitch Session on Friday Jackie told us her story. I’m posting it for you to read again and to remind you that it’s about people like her that we gathered last weekend to create solutions for self-care problems. Here is Jackie’s story.

Hello. This is not a pitch, per se; it’s to introduce me, to you, and let you know where I’m coming from.

My name is Jacqueline Hynd. I’m an alumna of University of Auckland and … a recovering Stroke Survivor.

Back in 1995, I had a massive brain haemorrhage, at work as an analyst programmer, and collapsed, unconscious.

Emergency admittance to 2 hospitals later, I had Open Brain Surgery for 9 hrs. The culprit was an AVM – ArterioVenous Malformation – an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins. Unbeknownst to me, it was a birth defect and it had ruptured. Exploded in my brain, catastrophically.

When I woke up in hospital, I found I couldn’t : Walk, Talk, Read, Write, or Remember.   Short-term memory was obliterated; … my mind was so silent; a complete blank.

I was paralysed on the right-hand side, had severe aphasia and was in the wheelchair.

Six months later, I had radiosurgery. A device/machine called Linear Accelerator, used a calibrated, stereotactic frame, attached to my skull, to zap the remnant AVMs.

I had to re-learn everything from scratch, even English.
To try and stand… later, a shuffling walk ensued;
brief, fleeting touches of memory : I couldn’t quite capture it, before the thought dissipated …;
to speak without slurring or stuttering: in the beginning, words of only 1 or 2-syllables;
alphabets and numbers were foreign to me; to write with my left hand; to cook; list goes on.

For me, nearly 20 years later, the most pressing things to consider: being able to walk properly and having a usable right hand and arm – Clonus, i.e. muscle spasms; Sub-lux shoulder; Footdrop, hence the legbrace, etc…is a daily occurrence, but doesn’t stop me doing things.

My recent history includes:
writing Two: ‘Stroke-cum-Travelogue-Cookbooks’;
being a Model for a Day, in a charity, Credit Crunch Calender;
was fortunate enough to be interviewed by the: UK’s Flagship disability, lifestyle magazine;
the exhibition of my Pottery and Sculptural Artwork / silk-painting / mosaic-ing; ..created with one usable hand. Milestones; along life’s busy road to recovery.

I offer a unique, insider perspective of: on-going, post-Stroke Rehab; as I journey forwards towards a better me.

GOALS – in concrete. PLANS – in sand. THANK you.

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