Stroke Survivor Biographies

Maria Tonkin

Meet Maria Tonkin. Maria was born in the Northern Cape town of Calvinia in 1940. She lived there with her family until they all relocated to the suburb of Durbanville when Maria was a teenager (her parents later moved back to Calvinia as they found it difficult to adapt to life in Cape Town.) Maria stayed on with an aunt in Strand.  She later married and had 3 children of her own.

In 2015, while living in Macassar, Maria returned from church one morning and found that her systolic blood pressure had risen to 200. An ambulance was called and Maria was taken to hospital. On the following Tuesday evening Maria suffered a stroke. On the Wednesday she couldn't walk and her left side was paralysed. She spent 3 weeks at Conradie Hospital in Pinelands.

After being discharged, Maria went home to her daughter who continues to live with her to this day. Maria is very grateful for her daughter's support and assistance. She says that generally her health is very good. She is looking forward to having a cataract operation some time in the future as she suffers from blurred vision.

In 2015 Maria heard of the Stroke Support Macassar group through the physiotherapist at Macassar Day Hospital, and decided to join the group.

She enjoys the groups immensely. So much so, she wishes the group could meet more often than just once a week! Maria says it's not only an opportunity to get out of the house, but that seeing old friends and meeting new people is very enjoyable. Although Maria cannot use her left hand and still has problems with her left foot, she has found the exercises she does at the group beneficial. She walks to church every week and keeps herself busy with household chores.  She also enjoys gardening - even if it's just weeding for a while in the sunshine every day. She is a lady that cannot sit idle and likes to keep busy.

Maria proudly says that when something needs to be done, she wants it done immediately. She can now make herself a cup of tea and a sandwich - and even irons.  "We need to help ourselves," she says, "One day at a time."

Oom Paul

21/10/1927 – 31/10/2019

Oom Paul joined the Grabouw Stroke Rehabilitation Group at the age of 90.

 

He arrived in a wheelchair and asked for a walking frame. After a few weeks of using the walking frame, he said he was ready to start walking with a quadruped walking stick. After practicing using the walking stick with a family member present (and after being given firm instructions not to use it without a family member present), I turned around to see Oom Paul “skipping” out of the hall twirling the walking stick in the air like a drum majorette!

 

A few weeks before his passing, we asked if he would write a brief life story for us to place in our newsletter. Oom Paul was an inspiration to stroke survivors of all ages and bears testimony to the important role a love and zest for life and sheer will and determination can play in recovery after stroke.

 

At the sports day held in September in Macassar, Oom Paul was the oldest stroke survivor present. He won his event and played a role in Grabouw being the winners of the event.

Een van my onderwysers wat skoolgehou het op Protem, het my gedurende ‘n skoolvakansie saamgeneem Kaap toe om te kuier. Hulle wou hê ek moes daar skoolgaan en verder leer en hulle sou my help met die uitgawes, maar ma skryf toe sommer twee briewe na mekaar. Ek onthou nog die dreigende woorde soos gister nl. “Jongetjie jy moet maak dat jy by die huis kom of ek sit die polisie agter jou”. En so is my wonderlike geleentheid na die maan. Ek is terug plaas toe om te begin werk. Net maar 14 jaar oud. Ek het swaar gewerk, alhoewel my hart gesmag het om eendag ’n geleentheid te hê moes ek my ouers gehoorsaam. Ek het so jonk soos ek was, myself belowe as ek eendag getroud is en kinders het ek hulle sal aanmoedig en help, al moes ek ook geld leen om hul drome te bewaarheid. Vandag is ek baie dankbaar en trots dat hulle verder kon studeer en hul drome kon verwesenlik.

In 1968 trek ek vanaf die Rûens na Grabouw. Ek het later by die City Council begin werk en op 65 in 1992 afgetree. Ek het my huis in Botrivier laat bou en ek en “Girl” my vrou se troetelnaam soos ek haar genoem het, het gaan aftree in Botrivier. Ek was lief vir tuinmaak. Ons twee het dit vreeslik geniet. My maat het my ontval na 54 jaar van getroude lewe op die 30 Maart 2009. Ons is tans 27 jaar daar woonagtig.

 

Na my beroerte aanval op 19 Julie 2018 was ek genoodsaak om by my kinders te kom bly, op aanbeveling van Spescare (waar ek vir 2 weke aangesterk het, na die ontslag van 2 weke uit die hospitaal). Omdat ek 4 kinders het, het hulle die reëling gemaak om elkeen 3 maande per jaar na my om te sien. My kinders, hul gesinne, kleinkinders en agterkleinkinders moes ook baie opofferings en aanpassings maak in hul alledaagse lewe om by myne in te pas en

Ek was in my leeftyd nog net 2 keer in die hospitaal. Omdat ek ‘n ingesteldheid het van niks is die einde as jy met die hulp en hoop van Onse Hemelse Vader en glo en vertrou die onmoontlike wat weer moontlik gemaak kan word. Dit is baie nodig dat ek myself daaraan onthou om altyd positief te bly. In die hospitaal en by die rehabilitasie instansie nl. Spescare het ek dit rêrig geniet. Die personeel vir hul passie waarmee hulle, hul werk doen en die omgee, die geduld.

 

Toe ek huis toe kom vanaf Spescare was my plek al bespreek by HSSG. Danksy vir Mnr Ivan Wyngaard en sy vrou. By die huis was alreeds ook ’n rystoel wat hulle vir my gebring het. ’n Groot dankie vir hom wat niks moeite ontsien het om my te kom haal en wegbring vir die sessies nie, nog voordat die taxi gery het. Vir my maat by name Edmund MacDonald baie, baie dankie vir alles waarmee jy my kon help. Die tyd toe ek rêrig nie veel vir myself kon doen nie. Dit was ‘n baie groot hulp by die huis sowel vir elke week wanneer ons met die taxi oefen klas toe gegaan het of oor die berg vir sport of ons jaareindfunksie. Baie dankie maat. Ek waardeer dit.

Vir die personeel en alle helpers wat hulp verleen om die lewe weer aanpasbaar en makliker te maak, selfs al is ons nie almal op dieselfde vlak van aansterking nie. Die geduld wat hulle aan die dag lê. Vir Judy met haar passie vir dit wat sy vir  ons  as “stroke  survivors" doen, want hierdie oefeninge  en speletjies het sommer baie wonders vir elkeen van ons verrig. Baie dankie.

Ons is ‘n groot familie. Ons geniet mekaar, ons verskil van mekaar soms en ons mis mekaar. Ek hou niks daarvan om nie daar te kan wees nie.

CONTACT

The Helderberg Stroke Support Group (HSSG) has been assisting stroke survivors and their families in the Helderberg Basin for twenty-seven years. The organization is registered as a Non-Profit Organization and has been approved as a public benefit organization.

NPO 016-622 | PBO 930015113

hssgloma@telkomsa.net

+2721 852 8233 |  +2779 612 8903

NEWSLETTER

© 2018 by Captivating

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