It has been a really busy summer, so I thought I would update you all of what’s been happening in my life!
April being a Stroke Awareness month, I was invited by the BBC/ITV, Radio Asian Network and Sky News to tell my story live on the radio & TV. This was my first experience of being interviewed LIVE! I didn’t know what to expect and just had to be brave and respond to the questions. Now that I know what it entails, I was glad for the experience and being given the opportunity to reach a large audience, to bring awareness to so many people.
Rebuilding lives after stroke – The Stroke Association ran a national campaign called “Rebuilding lives after a stroke” and 6 stroke survivors including me were chosen to share our journeys.
This campaign was a fulfilling experience and has been very successful as it educates people that strokes can happen to anyone at any age and that all young people should be aware of this.
The campaign reached a large audience and has been advertised in leaflets, magazines, tv channels, radio and in cinemas.
May started with me actively supporting a couple of charities, one being One Kind Act coffee morning which was raising funds for their work and the second was for Bal Kitchen, in support of local causes that help survivors who have had a brain injury. Bal Kapila lost her son after a tragic brain injury. I feel terribly sad for her and admire her bravery to continue raising awareness and raising funds for worthy causes. Money raised from her cookery book sales were kindly donated to One Kind Act to buy essential equipment to support head injury victims.
Then in June I was also fortunate to be one of four people chosen to have three weeks of intensive therapy for Aphasia. I participated in various individual and group therapies such as speech and language, self-development, tree of life therapy and many more.
During that period, I learnt a lot, but more importantly, my perception of people with aphasia changed, whereby I realised that everyone one with aphasia is different and their capabilities also vary. I enjoyed sharing our journey and in this process, this gave me the courage and confidence which helped me to believe in myself. From this experience I felt I made lifetime friendships and felt that I really could improve my future skill sets.
This treatment was funded by The National Brain Appeal which is a charity dedicated to raising vital funds for the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at UCL
The intensive therapy was amazing for all the participants and I only wish it was bit longer.
It has also been one year since I started volunteering for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). It was my ambition to work here, as my cousin Tiana spent a long time in this hospital and I saw the amazing care she got. She suffered from Cystic Fibrosis and was treated at the hospital and unfortunately passed away at a very young age. She is my inspiration and was a selfless soul who was brave, lively and had an amazing enthusiasm for life, always wanting to help others. Achieving a volunteering position at GOSH was difficult but I was glad to be given this opportunity.
At GOSH I work on the ward visiting children in their rooms, playing games with them, doing different activities and giving the parents support and a break if they required it. Every time I am there, I have a different experience and get to share and tell a different story. I absolutely love it and find it so rewarding.
Finally, in July I continued to support Sky Sharma Foundation. This is a mental health charity raising awareness amongst the Asian population. Neelam Sharma lost her only son Akash to suicide. Despite a deep personal loss, she raises funds to help projects in schools and colleges. At the same time, we supported Bal again. To see two mothers in so much pain from their loss yet raising money for their causes was truly a humbling sight.
On A More Personal Note …………
All through the summer I have been overwhelmed with numerous weddings and celebrations of close family and friends. From hen parties to weddings and baby showers I have been extremely busy and at times was exhausted.
I am really happy for my friends and family who are progressing in their lives, but I can’t help but look at my own journey and think how different it would or could have been if I did not have my unexpected stroke in 2016. Then I reflect and I know how blessed I am to have made an amazing recovery and here today to share my story.
As you can see, I have had so much going on in my life it has been like a roller coaster emotionally and physically.
My Feelings ……….
With so much going on I do get tired and this slows my thought process, but I am to blame for this as I keep pushing myself to do more.
There are times when I feel anxious and feel that I cannot express my true feeling or that people don’t understand. This sometime causes frustration and I get temperamental until I have an emotional outburst, luckily this is short lived, and I accept things and move forward positively.
I do feel sad that I have lost touch with some of my old friends who have moved on, but I am also grateful for the new friends I have met who have been so supportive and understanding to me.
I am also thankful to my mum and dad who have been my tower of strength through my journey.
I also look at the positive side to life, to have been lucky to have helped so many causes, to have shared my story and bring awareness and to have reached out to so many people and through this, having made some amazing new relationships.
My aim is to educate people, to discuss, to understand, to question but not to judge or make opinions on anyone. No one person is the same, but every person deserves to be loved and be understood.
Rebuilding Lives: www.stroke.org.uk/rebuilding-lives
BBC Asian Network: www.facebook.com/BBCAsianNetwork/videos/302085454060965/
Sky News: www.facebook.com/AlishaMalhotraAphasia/videos/289546275325521/
Channel 5 News : https://www.facebook.com/AlishaMalhotraAphasia/videos/346433479556249/?q=alisha%20aphasia&epa=SEARCH_BOX