When Geelong truck driver Greg Young felt a bit off for a few days, his first instinct was to ignore it and just get on with things. He went to work in Geelong one Saturday morning feeling mildly unwell, and by the time he arrived home that afternoon he was staggering and couldn’t stand up straight. It wasn’t until the Sunday night though – when his symptoms hadn’t improved – that Greg attended a hospital emergency department feeling “really crook”. After revealing to hospital staff that he’d skipped taking his prescribed diabetes medication for more than a week, Greg was treated and discharged home that night.

Over the next two days though, Greg’s condition worsened and his wife Chrissy insisted he return to hospital. This time they attended Epworth Geelong and Greg underwent a series of tests that revealed he had suffered a stroke. He was immediately admitted as an inpatient.

Diabetes is a risk factor for stroke and Greg was quick to say that it was his neglect of his own health by not taking his prescribed medication, that contributed to the stroke.

“I was an idiot,” said Greg. “I just stopped [the medication] and it bit me. I won’t do that again, that’s for sure,” he said.

Greg is fortunate to have made huge steps towards recovery since he came to Epworth Geelong around three weeks ago. Getting his medication regime back on track and under the care of his treating doctor, nurses and allied health team, Greg is now ready to start a rehabilitation program that will help him to fully recover from the stroke.

Restrictions on visitors to Victorian hospitals due to COVID-19 outbreaks have meant Greg hasn’t seen his adult children in weeks so he’s looking forward to going home soon. “It’s horrid, because you’re not allowed to see your family,” he says.

Greg is glad though that he’ll be leaving the hospital in much better health than when he came in.

“I’m happy as! Because I’m healthy again!” he says. “I could go dancing, I reckon. I feel like I could dance!”

Greg is also full of praise for the staff who have taken care of him during his stay at Epworth Geelong. “The nurses are fantastic, the doctor has been really good – they’re all excellent. They care and they’re always there for you.”

Greg has some advice to share with other people who are on medication to manage serious health conditions. “Take your medication,” he says. “If I’d taken my medication, I might not have had this stroke.”

One thing’s for sure, Greg is ready to go home, get back to work and be with his wife Chrissy.

“I just want to hug her and hold her,” he said.

National Stroke Week – 2-8 August 2021

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability, but more than 80% of strokes can be prevented.

How do you know if someone is having a stroke? Think… F.A.S.T.

The Stroke Foundation recommends the F.A.S.T. test as an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke. Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:

Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

Arms Can they lift both arms?

Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

12 August 2021


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