HELP US CREATE MORE SURVIVORS LIKE NIKKI
A flat line–that was all Nikki could write when trying to sign her name. At 35-years old, university professor Nikki Martyn-Capobianco knew something was wrong but a stroke was the last thing on her mind; especially since she was a non-smoker, had good blood pressure and no family history of stroke.
It was terrifying for the young mother, and things became even more terrifying upon her arrival at the hospital. "My symptoms got much worse and I saw my son's face," she says. "I thought, 'I can't die. I can't let him live his life without a mom.'"
Following her stroke, Nikki couldn't hold a fork or even sign her name. She lost strength and coordination in her leg and experienced shortfalls in her vision and speech too–but you would never know it to see her today. With hard work and perseverance, Nikki overcame these struggles one day at a time. "I fought and I won!" she says with pride.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation funds life-saving research for stroke prevention, emergency treatment and recovery to create more survivors like Nikki. Support the Heart&Stroke Daily Cash Lottery to ensure that this meaningful work continues.
HELP US CREATE MORE SURVIVORS LIKE JOE
While celebrating their wedding anniversary with good friends over dinner, Joe and Shirley Newton's lives changed forever. When the left side of Joe's face began to droop and he slurred his words, emergency responders were called. Later at the hospital, Shirley was told that her beloved husband had suffered a major stroke, and that his heart had temporarily stopped. And just like that, "her Joe"–the one who cooked, had a sharp mind and always made people laugh–was gone. His left side was paralyzed, he had difficulty reading and recalling his words, he couldn't swallow, and was left feeling anxious most of the time.
While being treated at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital, Dr. Sandra Black, one of the founding members of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery asked him to be part of a research study. "I agreed, and it was probably the best decision I ever made," says Joe, "although my wife would contend it was the second best decision I ever made."
After a year and a half of outpatient rehab, including physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy, Joe got back to being himself again. Today, you may find him cooking, painting, enjoying his beautiful backyard, or travelling. But whatever he's doing, he's probably sharing a chuckle with Shirley or anyone else that happens to be around.
By supporting the Lottery, you're helping to fund the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, and other life-saving research and initiatives to create more survivors like Joe.
YOUR SUPPORT IS CREATING MORE SURVIVORS LIKE KUNAL
It was a February morning, when like any normal 23-year old, Kunal Chopra refused to let a simple headache slow him down. He took a pain reliever and headed out to run his errands, which included getting his mother's birthday cake.
Upon returning home, Kunal knew something was terribly wrong. "I couldn't move my left side," he recalls. He called his family for help and that was the last thing he remembers. Two days later, he woke up in the intensive care unit at Sunnybrook, having suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. It had struck without warning.
While emergency surgery saved his life, his left side remained paralyzed and there were concerns he would not walk again. Kunal was not about to give up. As his body recovered, he regained movement and strength through many months of rehabilitation. "I still have no sensation on my left side, but to look at me, you'd never know I had a stroke," he says. "The unfailing love and support of my friends and family paired with my determination to recover, proved to me that anything was possible if you put your mind to it."
Survivors like Kunal are living proof that with therapy, support, care and services, recovery is possible. Your support of the Lottery is helping fund life-saving research for stroke prevention, emergency treatment and recovery, to create more survivors like Kunal.
HELP US CREATE MORE SURVIVORS LIKE JANEL
“My brain went from high speed internet to dial-up service overnight," explains Janel Nadeau, referring to the hemorrhagic stroke she suffered at just 19-years old. Janel was robbed of her memory as well as her reading and writing skills. After six weeks in the hospital, Janel knew it would be a struggle to get back to her studies at Queen's University.
It was through the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Stroke Recovery Association that Janel and her family found the information and support they needed. "We became educated about stroke and that, in part, is what gave us back our power," says her mother Roxanne. "We also came to realize the enormous potential for recovery–and that was a powerful motivator."
Considering that her stroke initially left Janel without the use of her right side, her continuous improvements in physical therapy, strength training, swimming and yoga, among other activities, were nothing short of inspirational. Janel went on to receive her Bachelor of Science from Queens, and eventually completed her medical degree in Calgary as well. "People think that as long as you don't die from a stroke then you're okay," says Janel. "They don't understand that a stroke survivor is faced with challenging emotional and physical demands during recovery, every step of the way."
By supporting the Heart&Stroke Lottery, you're helping the Heart and Stroke Foundation fund life-saving research for stroke prevention, emergency treatment and recovery to create more survivors like Janel.
HELP US CREATE MORE SURVIVORS LIKE OWEN
Five-year old Owen had his first open-heart surgery at just eight days old, when it was discovered that he was born with a heart defect. Following this surgery, Owen began to have seizures and doctors quickly discovered he'd also suffered a stroke. The event weakened the left side of Owen's body, including his tongue, which affected his ability to swallow, and also slowed down his progress as he learned to crawl and eventually walk.
Through physiotherapy and occupational therapy, among other treatments, Owen has slowly but surely developed these abilities, but there have been many tears shed along the way. As a survivor, Owen is still at risk for future strokes, and he will need more surgeries in time.
Today Owen is a happy little boy with an ever-growing vocabulary, who loves joking around and playing with his flash cards. "We're just doing what we can to keep him healthy and remain grateful every day for the hard work of the Heart and Stroke Foundation researchers and all those who support them through the Heart&Stroke Lottery", says Laura Veloso (Owen's Mom). "Thank you all for giving Owen the chance to live the longer, fuller, healthier life he deserves."
By purchasing a ticket in the Heart&Stroke Lottery, you're helping the Heart and Stroke Foundation fund life-saving research to create more survivors like Owen.
YOUR SUPPORT IS HELPING CREATE MORE SURVIVORS LIKE DAWN
One frightful day in 2007, Dawn Armstrong's legs simply gave out. She dropped to the floor, unable to stand. Knowing she urgently needed help, she called for Shani, her 5-year old daughter to bring the phone. Dawn couldn't understand the numbers on the keypad, but she didn't give up and finally managed to call for help.
Not giving up is what got Dawn through her stroke–and her recovery. "Being a stroke survivor and a single parent at 46-years old was hard at first. It was depressing," she says. "But something in me said, No, this isn't the end.'"
Dawn stayed positive even as she struggled to walk with a cane, had a paralyzed right hand and could barely speak. Today she no longer relies on a cane and has regained her speech. And as she keeps moving forward, she's giving back.
Dawn has committed to helping other stroke victims by writing about her own survival. "People don't believe me when I say that the stroke was a good thing but it's true," She says. "I find happiness in being able to touch other people's lives. I've learned that there are no guarantees in life but for the first time, I feel like I can do and give more."
Dawn is making a difference–and so can you. By supporting the Heart&Stroke Daily Cash Lottery, you're helping the Foundation fund life-saving research for stroke prevention, emergency treatment and recovery to create more survivors like Dawn. Thank you.
and help put an END to stroke.