August 08, 2019 0 comments

Vicki’s Brave Battle

Vicki and husband

Recently, we shared a letter to our community regarding Grant Octoman, who suffered a stroke, brought on by Atrial Fibrillation (AF). This story resonated with one of our regular givers, Vicki Khor.

Passionate about supporting AHR, Vicki told her story in a past newsletter as she had suffered ongoing heart issues due to the sudden passing of her loving husband of almost 40 years, Ron.

“Ron’s passing was a complete shock and left me extremely fragile. I suffered from Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome,” Vicki said.

Unfortunately for Vicki, her health battles continued and not long after, she was diagnosed with AF, a condition making the heart beat out of rhythm.

What Vicki didn’t know was that AF contributes to a third of all strokes, a fact she only discovered whilst reading about Grant’s health battle with AF.

“Earlier this year I suffered a stroke affecting the left side of my brain and my right eye, losing complete vision,” Vicki said.

“I didn’t feel the usual symptoms of getting a stroke. I couldn’t sleep properly, and I felt there was something wrong with my eye. From there I ended up in hospital where I received the news, I had a stroke and my vision wouldn’t return.

“I only made the connection through Grant’s story shared by AHR so I was quite shocked to find out my stroke may have been caused due to my underlying issue of AF.”

How our funding is helping people like Vicki

Thanks to our generous donor community, AHR is funding a specialised, multi-disciplinary clinic at the Royal Adelaide Hospital that has an integrated care (i-CARE) approach to the management of AF, led by duo Professor Prashanthan Sanders and Dr Jeroen Hendriks.

The i-CARE clinic combines the important care components for AF and ensures collaboration between specialists, nurses and allied professionals all while maintaining a patient-centred approach to treatment.

“I believe our clinic will save lives and prevent life-threatening outcomes for those who suffer from AF,” Dr Hendriks said.

“I think the way forward is to redesign our care processes for treating AF. If we don’t, the prevalence will continue to rise.”

Vicki is optimistic and enjoying life despite her setbacks. She hopes her donations to AHR will help in the fight against heart disease, so no one goes through the same health issues as her.

“I continue living my life and am very grateful that my stroke wasn’t debilitating. I have great faith in our researchers and hope that through my donations, they are one step closer to beating heart disease.”

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