Stroke life-changing for Cassandra
When Cassandra’s peripheral vision disappeared a few weeks ago, doctors initially suspected a migraine. But she knew it was something more.
When she lost feeling down the right side of her body, she was rushed to hospital in Shepparton where they confirmed she’d had a stroke. The next day, she was transferred to The Alfred.
At just 22, Cassandra seemed an unlikely candidate for a stroke. But she was also smoking around 20 cigarettes every day and was in a car accident six weeks ago.
Smoking doubles the risk of stroke, and having already had a stroke meant Cassandra was at higher risk of another. So with the help of The Alfred’s Smoking Cessation Team, she’s been able to give up cigarettes and is feeling better for it already.
Cassandra admits the stroke frightened her.
“Being young and feeling invincible, you don’t think of what it’s doing to your body,” she said.
“But when something like this happens it makes you stop and think, this is supposed to be the time of my life but I’m stuck in hospital.”
But she’s committed to a healthier lifestyle.
“I can already smell better and I’m breathing better. And food tastes different.”
Smoking Cessation Coordinator Linda Bradford said Cassandra has embraced a combination of nicotine-replacement products and extensive support from the team to help her quit, and she was doing really well.
“We’re here to help any patients or staff members who want to quit smoking,” Linda said.
“The benefits for your health are immediate so the sooner you can stop smoking, the better your recovery is going to be.”
For more information or support on quitting smoking, contact the smoking cessation team at The Alfred.