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Quick thinking helps Portsea man make full recovery from stroke

Jonathan Laycock - Stroke Survivor

Jonathan Laycock thought his chainsaw blade must have been blunt when he started having severe vibrations down his right side while using the power tool.

“I put the chainsaw down, turned it off and then I lost everything down the right side – speech, movement of my arms and legs, so I was cemented to the spot,” recalls Jonathan.

“Fortunately a few minutes later my wife came out to see why the chainsaw had stopped and found me. Being a nurse she knew exactly what was happening and called an ambulance.”

Jonathan was having a stroke. It’s National Stroke Week and Peninsula Health is joining the campaign to raise awareness of the signs of stroke.

Time is critical in treating strokes and luckily Jonathan arrived at Frankston Hospital within the hour.

“The staff were ready to go when I arrived. They quickly established which sort of stroke it was and I was treated accordingly,” says Jonathan, whose stroke was caused by a bleed in the brain.

The fast actions by Jonathan’s wife, the paramedics and the Emergency Department staff saved his life. After a few days at Frankston Hospital Jonathan was confronted with his next challenge – regaining his speech and getting movement back in the right side of his body.

“I spent three and a half weeks at Golf Links Road Rehabilitation Centre and then one month in the Stroke Detours Program,” says Jonathan.

“My speech was a bit slurred at first and my movement gradually came back. I did hand exercises, arm exercises, leg exercises – I was kept pretty busy.”

Jonathan says the Stroke Detours Program, where a Peninsula Health rehabilitation specialist comes out to your house, was a sensational part of the rehab.

“I got to a stage where I didn’t need rehab but I still needed guidance to get everything moving, which is why the detours program is fantastic because it got me over that last hurdle.”

“Someone would come out and they’d give me exercises to help my hand motor skills and they’d suggest I try to do various things around the kitchen. We also used to go for long walks which were great.”

One year on, Jonathan has made a full recovery and is once again enjoying his retirement. He is back at the gym, behind the wheel of the family car and even has the chainsaw going again!

“I’d just like to say how fortunate I’ve been to have fabulous care from Frankston Hospital, in the rehabilitation centre at Golf Links Road and in the detour program,” says Jonathan.

“All the staff were fantastic – they’re very obliging, very helpful. Nothing was too much of a problem.”

Stroke symptoms

How do you know if someone is having a stroke? Think… F.A.S.T.

Signs of Stroke - FAST