For Melbourne grandfather Greg, a stroke 12-months ago couldn’t have been more out of the blue.
At the time, Greg was a fit and healthy 67-year-old, living life to its fullest as a conductor for the Melbourne Opera. But in October 2022, his world was turned upside down.
Greg was at home one morning, preparing for his latest show, when his body suddenly felt heavy, and he began slurring his speech.
Luckily, Greg’s wife called an ambulance and the Mobile Stroke Unit attended to provide Greg with life-saving care, before he was transported to the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH).
A year on, Greg has learnt to swallow and eat again and is now walking unaided – albeit slowly – after retraining his brain and body to walk.
Greg said this is something he never thought he’d do again but thanks to the support of the RMH's Rehabilitation team, he's bouncing back.
In a bittersweet moment, Greg recently finished rehab at the RMH – and on the same day, his new baby granddaughter, who had spent six weeks at the Royal Children's Hospital, also came home.
“It’s been a long journey, and it’s not over yet,” Greg said.
"But I'm back on my feet."
Greg is now looking to the future and says he couldn’t be more grateful to the teams involved in his care at the RMH. They’ve allowed him to regain his independence and continue to work with his beloved opera – who last month opened the renowned Elvis: A Musical Revolution.
Next week, he will take to the stage again in his first professional conducting gig in 12 months.
And with the support of his family, including wife Debra and their children, Greg says he will keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Greg is the face of the this year's RMH Christmas appeal, run by the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation.
Please give generously this Christmas, so we can help more people like Greg access the right support at the right time.
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