Grateful for Everyday – Final Assignment

According to the Australian Stroke Foundation, stroke is the second biggest killer in Australia after coronary heart disease. Thankfully, Mark didn’t contribute to this statistic. The effects of a stroke are known fairly well amongst society, on the patient’s behalf that is. The thoughts, feelings and emotions of a stroke victim’s family in their struggle to deal with the events that take place are difficult to comprehend, however as Anne-Maree tells us, ‘Often the experiences that hurt the most are the most beneficial in the long run.‘ That truly is the case with this family.

Following his close-encounter with death row, Mark and his family are taking each day as they come. It is true what they say, absence makes the heart grows fonder. For the average individual, 4 hours is not a long time, particularly given the vast amount of distractions now available. However for this family on one Sunday evening in August, 4 hours truly did feel like a lifetime. Patrick, the son of Anne-Maree and Mark, was spending quality time at home that very morning with his dad, and so he says that waiting for a phone call from surgeons at Liverpool Hospital about his extremely ill father was one of the worst few hours he can ever recall living through.

This story does not stop when Mark’s surgery was a success though. What happens when stroke patients are cleared by their many supervising doctors and allowed to venture home to continue with their lives? This is truly where the side-effects of a cerebellum stroke come to light. Excessive fatigue, decreased focus and concentration, loss of balance and stability, plenty of frustration. Mark has returned to normal bodily function, however is still prone to and showing all of these side-effects some 3 months after his stroke Anne-Maree tells us. His family, despite all they have gone through, still boast love and appreciation for everything that life has thrown at them, because, as Patrick said, ‘It could be worse, he could be dead.’

This is a family who seem like your average family upon first glance, and in all honesty, they are. Take a look at a family’s story of their encounter with death, and how it improved their outlook on what were given in this life.

JRNL102 Final Assignment Pitch

I’ll be brutally honest with you – sometimes life sucks. It throws us things that, quite frankly, we would be better off without.

My audio-visual piece is one that is close to my heart, and I deliberated for quite some time as to whether this piece was appropriate (hence how late this post is), however it is something that must be come to terms with and spoken about. So here we go.

Sometime about two months ago, my father had a very severe and very sudden stroke. That morning he was perfectly healthy, and that evening he was having life saving surgery whilst my family and I sat in the waiting room wondering if we’d ever even get to say goodbye. SomethingI wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

Thankfully, however, my dad is a trooper, and despite what all expert medical opinion has told us he should be doing (or rather, not doing) he is doing very well.

This is where my story begins to take place. Physically, my dad now looks just as he did before. His symptoms, therefore, are much more mental and cognitive. He has all normal brain functions (has all his memory and is still able to function as normal), however has a lot of difficulty with concentration, focus and gets extremely fatigued very quickly.

I have come to notice that if everything look okay on the outside, people stop caring. But we, being his family, we can’t stop caring (nor do we want to). I therefore hope to shed a family’s perspective on the implications of strokes, particularly those as severe as my dad’s. For such task, I will be interviewing and getting insight from my mother and little brother, and may also narrate myself.

In terms of the construction of the piece, there will be a brief overview as to what happened, and then majority of the piece will be focused on the implications of the stroke and the toll it has taken not only on my dad but also on the rest of the family. The sounds will start off at the hospital, but will mostly be regular sounds of household activities and chatter that occurs throughout the day. The photography and video aspects will follow suit.

Before this all happened, I only knew as much about strokes as what I had learned in school and on the television, but there are so many more ramifications involved that I feel need to be known. Heres hoping that it all plays out as expected!