How You Can Help Others With Their Recovery After a Stroke

Stroke Book Graphic

Many who have suffered a serious illness or accident want to somehow help others who may be experiencing a similar trauma. Sometimes even the caregivers feel an urge to share their knowledge of how they coped, in an attempt to inspire and motivate others.

Did you know that in Australia one in six will suffer from a stroke? Did you also know that young children and teenagers can suffer from a stroke? There is even a case where a baby had a stroke while still in the womb. Recently I met a grandmother whose two month old grandchild suffered a stroke.

Once you have learned to accept what has happened and build your road to recovery, perhaps it is time to start thinking about how you can assist others face their demons. The more one can concentrate on helping others the less time they have to worry about their own suffering. Helping others is definitely a healing process.

So, how can you help others? Basically by sharing your story. You may decide to write a book or speak to groups. If you write a book, think about where you can hold a launch. My book, ‘Thank God I Had a Stroke’ was launched at Parliament House, Melbourne, by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health. This gave it a great boost. The book is selling well and I do receive many comments that tell me that my story is making a difference to the readers. Nearly always, my book is then handed on to another, so each copy is reaching a wider number of readers.

When deciding on who to offer my speaking presentations to, I chose the Rotary Clubs. I wanted a group of people who were used to supporting and helping others in need and there are many such groups around. Also, Rotary clubs did not expect me to speak for too long (usually 15 minutes including Q/A time). This ensured that I did not get too bogged down and remained succinct and to the point.

Then I chose Libraries and wondered if they would be interested in actually buying one of my books because they could borrow them from the library. I was surprised that most opted to purchase a book (which I signed); they wanted to know the rest of my story quickly!

So far I have been targeting the general population and received some wonderful feedback on how well my presentation was received. However, I was quite surprised when I was asked to speak to a number of hospitals. The audience is doctors, nurses, therapists, allied health professionals etc. which meant that I had to restructure my talk to be able to focus on specific learning objectives for the staff, as the presentation was to be part of a medically accredited program.

It is also advisable to contact some of the associations set up to support those suffering from specific illnesses e.g. The Stroke Foundation of Australia and the Brain Tumour Alliance Australia. Some associations have specific programmes where they need the support of the general public. I have just been appointed as one of five Ambassadors for the Stroke Foundation. This will mean that I am prepared to present to at least 10 groups a year where, amongst other things, I emphasise the risk factors, the types of strokes and promote the F.A.S.T. programme. All of the essential information will be intertwined with my own story.

Don’t put off helping others because you don’t think you know how to. If you need some assistance, ask an association, or even make contact with me. I can try to help you get started. Helping others is yet another challenge for us to fact in our road to recovery.

Hints and Tips

Don’t feel that you have nothing to offer and therefore could not help others. I once saw a guy with no legs or arms talking to a group; he had everyone mesmerised. His story touched the heart of many and made those present realise that they really did not have severe problems when compared to him. By concentrating on what you can do rather than fretting about what you can no longer do, is the first step in being able to help others.


This video captures the excitement of the launch of the book ‘Thank God I Had a Stroke’ at Parliament House in Melbourne. The video was made by Lifestyle Video Productions


29 thoughts on “How You Can Help Others With Their Recovery After a Stroke

  1. Mark

    We can all help others when they are recovering from a stroke, even if its only companionship. Everybody needs a friend, especially in times of need.

  2. Austin

    Some great hints and tips. I especially enjoyed the story of the man with no arms and legs, really showing some true testament to this article.

  3. Andy103

    Really informative article. I don’t know many people who’ve had a stroke… yet, but definitely helpful information if I do in the future.

    1. Barbara Gabogrecan Post author

      In Australia, one in six people will suffer from a stroke – quite scary! Barb

  4. monaug5

    Thanks for the information on how to look after those who are suffering. Please keep this information keep coming as it is fantastic!

  5. clare

    oh this is terrifying!! especially since it can happen to people so young. We really need to live life everyday as if it was our last and cherish every moment!

  6. Jones

    All it takes to inspire someone is the right words and the right story. Go out and experience the world and share those experiences with others.

  7. Mona

    Could not agree more – share your stories – they will not only help others who might be going through similar situations but I promise it will help YOU as well. The very act of sharing will boost your own health and happiness.

  8. james

    This is really great advice. I’m worried about some pretty trivial things in my life and after reading about this man with arms and legs I’m realizing that I should stop feeling sorry about myself and things about all the positive things in my life.

    1. Barbara Gabogrecan Post author

      It is human nature I guess to worry about certain things in our own lives; but when we hear of the problems others face, it should give us a sense of thankfulness that our problems are so small in comparison.

  9. Ana B.

    Very inspirational. I like the video and I agree that a great way to help others is to simply share your story. You never know who will find hope and solace in your story.

  10. Chris W.

    Your story is so inspirational! I love your belief that there is always something you can do to help others. I guess that we should ignore our perceived limitations and just start helping others even if they are just small acts of kindness.

  11. karen

    You just have to be a people person and a crowd will love you, no matter what you may think is holding you back.

  12. Jane

    Wonderful article. I think it is best to make generalisations when it comes to people who have had a stroke. Recovery rates vary. A relative of mine was quick to recover because they had a lot of family support.

  13. Wills mary

    Nice post! We really need to live life everyday as if it was our last and cherish every moment! The very act of sharing will boost your own health and happiness.

  14. Patty

    Looking outward and thinking about contributing to others welfare is definitely a soothing and healing process for yourself. This is evident once you take Barb’s advice, at the very first opportunity!

  15. Jenifer Lapinski

    This is very informative and well described. It’s easy to understand all the points being made. Having a stroke is very serious and I hope everyone takes the time to read this. I enjoyed it a lot and will share what I learned with all my friends.

  16. goodvillager

    We each have this incredible power to shape our own destinies and control how much life’s curveballs are going to affect us. Suffering is quite relative. Minor events may affect one person terribly, while another person might be incredibly effective after several serious tragedies. I think realizing and accepting this power of self is key in not only overcoming something, but turning it into a motivator for change.

  17. Ryan H

    How inspiring, Barbara your so brave! This is a very informative article containing lots of useful information.

  18. Kristina

    This is a great article. My grandmother had a stroke a few years ago and having someone to talk to about what happens and how you can help someone who has had a stroke or is having one is important. First hand experience is very important.

  19. jon miller

    Very well written and informative article detailing how to help stroke victims. I especially liked the quote “By concentrating on what you can do rather than fretting about what you can no longer do, is the first step in being able to help other”.

  20. Sanwal Cheema

    2 years ago I got a heart stroke. It was a very depressing and difficult time for me both physically and mentally. Since then, I always donate a piece of my earnings to the Heart & Stroke foundation along with people in need. I really like what you said in the Hints and Tips section, that making excuses helps nobody. I go by that rule, and that is why I help people in need every chance i get.

    1. Barbara Gabogrecan Post author

      I am so pleased that you got over your problem Sanwal. Your approach to helping others is to be commended! Barb

  21. Christ Loker

    It is true that of all the things a patient needs to do is to mentally put mind into a positive mode. If they don’t, then it’s hard to get well.

  22. April Jonesey

    Interesting,I had no idea babies could have strokes in the womb. I have had a near death experience being hit by an 18 wheeler & I share my story as well. You are right,we can all help others,sometimes we probably dont even realize we’re helping. Great article!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.