Brain Tumour & Stroke Recovery

National Stroke Foundation
Inaugural Creative Award

Winner: Barbara Gabogrecan

A stroke and brain tumour survivor’s continuing journey of recovery

Barbara proudly holding her painting that was sold when she received her Inaugural Creative Award in Sydney, New South Wales.

Barbara proudly holding her painting that was sold when she received her Inaugural Creative Award in Sydney, New South Wales.

Stroke Ambassadors

Barbara and Peter have been made Ambassadors of the National Stroke Foundation,
which is a great honour for both of them.

In May 2011 I suffered a stroke and during the CT scan the medical team discovered that I also had a life threatening brain tumour.

There were many difficult times for both me and my loved ones to cope with in the following months. However I did survive and rapidly recovered. The medical staff told me that my attitude and frame of mind is what allowed me to recover so quickly.

I decided that I would write a book to share with others facing a similar medical ordeal, what I did and how I coped with the traumatic situation I found myself in. I wanted to inspire and motivate them to use their emotions and thought process to increase the speed of their own recovery.

I also wanted the caregivers to be recognised for their importance in the recovery of a seriously ill loved one. They, too, have to be motivated and inspired.

As I say in this video, I had a real shock the day after I was admitted to hospital for the stroke. I discovered that I could not read. But I was blessed because I could still write with logic and clarity. I had been left with the extremely rare condition of ‘Alexia without Agraphia’.

As part of my tumour and stroke recovery process, I decided to set myself a huge challenge; I was determined to write a book to not only share my story but to help others suffering serious illness.

Considering I could not read or distinguish words, this did seem like the ultimate challenge I could set myself. I did not realise just how difficult it was going to be until I commenced the book. For every page I wrote, my husband, Peter, had to read it back to me so that I could assess if I actually wrote what I intended to say. It was even more difficult when I had to consider the editing notes provided by my publisher.

But, with determination, passion and perseverance, I completed my book. Even though it took two years to be published, it was so rewarding to realise that I had actually ‘done it’. We can really do whatever we want to; it is just a case of figuring out ‘how’.

Peter said, “Writing this book was the best possible therapy Barbara could have undertaken. I saw her blossom as she coped with many difficulties and was finally successful. I felt privileged to be able to help her reach her ultimate goal.”

Here is the front cover of the book; the back cover (written b y the publisher) explains how I quickly recovered from both a brain tumour and a stroke.

Stroke Book CoverRead more about Barbara’s amazing journey

As an artist, I wondered if I would still be able to paint on silk as I did before my illness. While in hospital, I received a number of online orders which, I am delighted to say, I was able to fulfill.

Commission wall hanging for Heritage Listed building completed soon after stroke

Commissioned wall hanging for Heritage Listed building completed soon after stroke

Commission scarf as an overseas gift

Commissioned scarf for an overseas gift. The recipient was so pleased, she decided to frame it!


3 thoughts on “Brain Tumour & Stroke Recovery

  1. Penny Wohlford

    You are an inspiration, I too suffered a stroke in 2002 which left me with little use of my left hand due to spasticity as the result of my stroke, I manage quite well but of course am always looking for something that can help besides my on going therapy routines that I continue to do, After seeing the video of the man opening his hand after using wheatgrass extract cream of course I started searching more about it and came upon your web site, I hope you can tell me more about it, if it’s worth a try and where I can buy the cream he used on the patient. Thanks. Penny

  2. mohan varde

    I find this story very Amezing & restore my faith on will power . I will like to read this book if I get it in india .


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