For many, retirement is a time to rest and relax. Unfortunately for Lynn Gauthier in August of 2015, it was the opposite.
“Retired the 5th of August, came back to Canada August 10th, had a stroke August 17th.”
A nurse for 43 years, both in Canada and the United States, the 71-year old found herself going from caregiver to patient in the blink of an eye.
Lynn had no control over her left leg and couldn’t string together a sentence. With the help of physical and speech therapists, she recovered in about three years.
Soon after she found herself back in the hospital, but for good reason.
She now volunteers at the Hamilton General’s stroke rehabilitation clinic as a stroke survivor. It’s a new program that’s a joint effort between the General and the March of Dimes Canada.
“I know what it’s like to be in that bed, and not being able to tell what time it is because my brain doesn’t know what the big hand is for what the little hand is for.”
The March of Dimes of Canada has been operating the volunteer service for about a decade and teamed up with Hamilton Health Science to secure funding.
The Heart and Stroke foundation says that more and more young Canadians between the ages of 20 and 59 are having strokes.