Man battles on after stroke
FOUR years ago, Ruby and Barry Moon's lives changed forever.
The couple, who spend half of each year in Sydney and the other part of the year in Bargara, were in NSW when Mr Moon had a stroke in November 2006, leaving the active family man with limited ability to walk and unable to use his right hand or arm.
But worst of all, Mr Moon was left with aphasia, meaning he has never been able to speak since.
“He really got the double whammy,” Mrs Moon said.
She said the family was devastated he had been affected so profoundly.
“It was just like living in another world for those four months Barry was in hospital,” she said.
“It was so surreal, like it wasn't really happening.”
As National Stroke Week starts on Monday, Mrs Moon said she wanted to warn people a stroke could have a huge impact on the life of the survivor, family and carers.
Mrs Moon said the hardest thing was returning home.
“When we came home it was absolutely terrifying,” Mrs Moon said.
“You are sent home from the hospital and you are suddenly the sole person and you don't get any help.
“Someone comes once a day for six weeks to help shower the person who has had the stroke. You don't get shown what to do and you're on your own.”
While Mr Moon has felt the brunt of the stroke, his wife's daily life has also changed forever as a result.
Before Mr Moon's stroke, he was very active and had just retired from running the family's metalwork business making verandahs.
“There are a lot of things you take for granted like taking out the garbage, cleaning the car, changing a lightbulb and checking the tyres,” Mrs Moon said.
“They're silly little things, but you don't realise how much your partner does until they can't do them anymore.”
The couple hope people will look for signs of strokes to prevent death, but warn it can happen to anyone.
“A stroke lasts forever,” Mrs Moon said.