Elaine Godkin was an avid sewer who loved making quilts to give to her family and friends. Then she had a stroke and didn’t think she would ever quilt again.
“I had a slight headache that day,” says Elaine. “I didn’t think there was anything to worry about, so I went to a meeting that night.” Afterward, terrible pain developed behind Elaine’s right eye. While one of her friends looked for Tylenol, the other suggested that she sit down.
It’s the last thing Elaine remembers before waking up in the hospital.
She found out later that she had experienced a brain stem hemorrhagic stroke, and a doctor had performed life-saving surgery. She had been in an induced coma for three weeks.
When she woke up, the first thing she noticed was her double vision. Elaine also shares that her “balance was not good from the first time I was allowed to stand.”
The hospital team started her on physiotherapy with the goals of building strength in her legs and relearning how to walk. After she was discharged, she went to a physiotherapist once a week to focus on her balance and used eye exercises to try and improve her vision.
Six months from the time of her stroke, Elaine was proud to walk up the church aisle that Christmas on her own, using the pews for support.
While she is currently waiting for surgery to improve continuing double vision, Elaine is encouraged at her progress so far and continues to make strides forward.
Using her walker, she’s now able to take daily strolls through the neighbourhood. Elaine has also dusted off her sewing machine, as she’s taken up quilting again.
Three years after her stroke, Elaine made a queen-sized quilt, and hasn’t stopped since.
“It takes me longer to do these things, but I am happy to be able to do them,” says Elaine. “I encourage other stroke survivors to try even if you think you can’t do it. You never know until you try!”