Live a full life after a stroke, survivor says
Maria Fredatovich knows about defying the odds.
She had a stroke at 13 years old and became paralysed down the right side of her body with vision loss in one eye.
Her world changed. Fredatovich went from being a sporty teenager to having to relearn how to walk and do the simplest things, like tying her hair.
She was determined to get back to a ‘‘normal’’ life.
Fredatovich spent eight months in rehabilitation at Wilson Home on the North Shore.
Later, she went back to Baradene College to finish her education.
The now 33-year-old says she always knew she was ‘‘ the only person who could choose what happened in my life’’.
She has spent a year in the United Kingdom, travelled all over Europe, and has even had a go at skydiving and whitewater rafting.
It’s been nearly two decades since the Nelson resident had her stroke which was a result of an operation to stop her epilepsy, and she still lives with the aftermath of the event. Her right side is weakened, so doing daily exercises is vital for her muscle strength.
She had to relearn to write with her left hand and tie her shoe laces.
Fredatovich has started the Young Stroke Thrivers Foundation for other young stroke survivors seeking out support.
She came up with the idea when a 12-year-old stroke survivor got in touch with her for advice.
Fredatovich raised funds for the girl to go on a holiday with her family.
‘‘Growing up I never had people I could look to who were of similar age to me as mentors and I wanted her to have someone,’’ Fredatovich says.
The trust’s launch will be held at her parents’ Henderson function centre. ‘‘I want to challenge others to give things a go and not muse they can’t do things in life,’’ she says.
The aim of the trust is to help other young stroke survivors realise their full potential.
Young Stroke Thrivers will be launched at Langtons on Lincoln, 130 Lincoln Rd from 11am to 3pm on July 19. Lunch will be provided, with a cash bar available.
Phone 021 209 2964 or email email@example.com for more information.
Go to centralleader. co.nz to see Maria Fredatovich doing rehabilitation exercises.