She's a stroke survivor at 32
Woman, 29, with haemorrhagic stroke saved by friend who called ambulance
She was at the gym with a friend when she had what she thought was an unusually bad headache.
In the incident in 2015, Miss Denise Hu, then 29, went to her friend's home to rest and asked her to search online on possible causes of her headache.
But her friend said "by the time I do that, it would be too late for you", and called for an ambulance instead.
That call saved her life, as after undergoing tests at the hospital, Miss Hu found out she had suffered a stroke.
According to figures from the Singapore Stroke Registry, 67,289 episodes of stroke occurred among Singapore residents above the age of 15, who were admitted to public hospitals between 2005 and 2015.
Over the same period, there was a general increase in the stroke incidence rates for those between 25 and 54 years old.
In 2015, the year Miss Hu suffered her stroke, charity organisation Stroke Support Station, or S3, was set up. It runs a dedicated wellness centre for stroke survivors at Enabling Village in Redhill.
Last September, her father encouraged her to join the group for therapy sessions.
Miss Hu, who helps out at her parents' grocery store in Tiong Bahru, talked to The New Paper about her stroke.
She said: "I lost consciousness at my friend's home. The next thing I knew, I was in hospital and found out that I had a haemorrhagic stroke."
She underwent surgery to stop the bleeding of a ruptured blood vessel in the right side of her brain and was hospitalised at Tan Tock Seng Hospital for almost three weeks.
The stroke weakened the left side of her body, preventing her from walking properly.
She still has trouble using her left hand.
Said Miss Hu: "I was shocked because I thought strokes happened only to older people.
"I felt very frustrated as I could no longer walk or drive. I couldn't even dress myself."
It took Miss Hu, now 32, six months of physical therapy and rehabilitation to walk again.
She said she often turns down her friends when they ask her out as she doesn't want to trouble them.
She said: "I'm not comfortable yet, and I feel a bit abnormal.My family and helper have given me a lot of moral support."
Miss Hu is one of S3's youngest members and attends sessions three times a week.
Besides going for K-pop dance and meal preparation sessions there, she has also made several new friends.
S3's executive director Damien Tong said that to mitigate the risk of a second or third stroke, it is important for stroke survivors to get support to maintain or improve their condition.
He added: "S3 aims to be the primary reference organisation for stroke survivors and the public by providing innovative programmes, support services, education and training."
Plans for more wellness centres will be unveiled at S3's Charity Gala Dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore tonight.
President Halimah Yacob will be the guest of honour.
How you can help S3
Stroke Support Station (S3) was established in 2015 and has one centre. The charity requires $1.7 million annually to operate. This expenditure is expected to increase as more stroke survivors require post-stroke care.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Make a one-time or monthly donation through the Giving.sg portal at www.giving.sg/Stroke-Support-Station
- Volunteer with S3. For more information, e-mail email@example.com
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