Stroke survivor breaking down barriers

An Ascot Vale man has just under one year to prepare for an incredible endurance challenge which will see him ride a recumbent trike to the four furthest points of Australia.

27 year old Tommy Quick has marked National Stroke Week by announcing he will tackle the 9,000 kilometre journey from Steep Point in Western Australia to Cape York in Far North Queensland to raise awareness of young stroke along with funds for the Stroke Foundation. Tommy himself survived a stroke at the age of 12.

Tommy said he has already started training for the ride, which will begin on his birthday on August 2, 2021.

“As I travel around Australia, I want people to know that stroke can happen at any age,” Tommy said.

“I am also passionate about promoting stroke research, social inclusion and breaking down preconceived perceptions about disability.

“I don’t like the word disabled. Everyone can set themselves a goal to do something – no matter how big or small it seems. I’d like to empower other stroke survivors to strive to do something they love. I have been working to make the Four Points of Australia idea a reality for four years.”

Tommy has come a long way in his recovery physically and mentally. When Tommy first had the stroke, he spent five weeks in an induced coma and then slowly learnt to swallow, lift his head, walk and talk again.

Tommy’s first big physical challenge was in 2014 when he completed the gruelling Kokoda track. He believes it was more of a mental game and credits the support and mateship of his group and porters for getting him over the line, lessons he will take into his upcoming challenge.

Stroke Foundation Victorian State Manager Eamonn O’Toole applauded Tommy for his ongoing determination and tenacity, adding many people didn’t realise children can have strokes.

“Each year up to 600 Australian children suffer a stroke; one in 20 die and more than half of survivors will experience long-term impairments,” Mr O’Toole said.

“Recovery from stroke does not end when people leave hospital. It can be a long and extremely difficult journey impacting not only the survivor, but their loved ones too.

“Tommy’s incredible drive and effort is testament to what can be achieved.”

For more on Tommy’s journey and how you can support his fund raising for Stroke Foundation visit here

National Stroke Week runs from August 31 – September 6. This year, Stroke Foundation is celebrating everyday Australians who know and can recognise the signs of stroke. They are F.A.S.T. Heroes!

Learn and share the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke and call triple zero (000) straight away if you suspect a stroke. The faster a patient receives medical treatment, the better the chance of a good outcome from stroke.

Think F.A.S.T and ask these questions:

Face – Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

Arms – Can they lift both arms?

Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time – Time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.

Tom Quick

Image: Tommy Quick will ride to the Four Points of Australia to raise awareness of young stroke and fundraise for the Stroke Foundation.

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