Stroke awareness – success stories

Rolling Inspiration
By Rolling Inspiration
8 Min Read

“We don’t know how STRONG we are until being strong is the only CHOICE we have”

My story on stroke – Bongani Mkhabela

My name is Bongani Mkhabela. I was born in 1974 in Swaziland and am now staying in Boksburg Klippoortjie, EAST RAND. I’m a Father of two children, a girl (16 years) and a Boy (3 years). I have my own business working from home. My company does marketing and sales. We also do printing of marketing items and branding. We have just started a business to supply all Sasol products to mining companies.

The day I got sick
It was on July 22, 2016 on a Friday morning at about 8:30. I was driving to SARS offices. As I drove to the parking I felt my body changing from my left side. My body got frozen and I was shaking. I went inside the SARS offices and finished all that I had to do. And I drove off. As I got to Boksburg town I noticed that my hand could not work. I then parked the car on the side of the road and called my wife. She came over to rescue me and drove me to hospital. That is when I started noticing that I was sick. I got hospitalised at Sunward Park hospital in Boksburg. I was taken to ICU. After I was stabilized I was taken to Auckland Park Rehabilitation Hospital. That is where I joined the rehab group.

A few days later I was introduced to therapists doing different types of therapy, as I could not walk or move the left side of my body. The therapist that I was introduced to include the speech therapist, the physiotherapist, the occupational therapist, the dietician and the VOC specialist which I had to all work with to improve my condition.

The speech therapist is helping me with my speech and talking as well as my eating. The physiotherapist is helping me with my body movements. The occupational therapist is teaching me on my clothing and toilet movements because I can only use one arm. VOC will assist in going back to work.

Understanding of working with the rehab center
After being aware of all the teachings I felt so happy that I can be able to be in control of my life again. All the therapists were part of my healing from a stroke. They worked very hard to help me understand myself. With the sickness that I have I now understand and see life in a different way. The stroke I had made me understands and believes in faith. All the faith I had about getting healed became a true dream. I now believe that healing is possible through faith.

Support that was given by my family has been so great. They did all they could do as a family with full support. I give credit to my wife who was taking care of everything at home for the children. Through faith we were blessed and did not have any problems with finances. She has always been very strong all through my sickness.

All the support from friends and family was also so great. My value to other people was then noticed. Motivating other people with what I had would be a good thing to do.

Winning the battle of having a stroke was a great achievement through faith in God and people around me in the rehab and hospital. All the rehab did was very great for me to recover. Their teachings were so helpful for my recovery.
Mr Marais’ Stroke Story

My name is Gerrit Marais and I am 54 years old. I have a beautiful wife and three beautiful daughters. I have 2 dogs. I worked as a supervisor in a vehicle workshop. I enjoy fishing and cycling. I am generally a healthy person who does not get sick.

On a Sunday in July 2016 I got a bad headache and started vomiting. I decided to stay at home and went to the hospital the next morning (Suikerbosrand Clinic). When I arrived I was admitted and diagnosed with meningitis. I was put into isolation. I was then transferred to Milpark for more medical treatment but unfortunately I suffered from a stroke (1 big stroke and 4 small strokes). I couldn’t lift my right arm and right leg. My mouth was very sore and my speech was unclear. I had poor oral coordination when talking and eating.

I was feeling very down as I couldn’t move by myself. I was unstable and had bad speech. I then came to Rita Henn and Partners, at Netcare Auckland Park Rehabilitation Hospital, where I did therapy daily. In speech therapy I had VitalStim and worked on my face movement and speech clarity. I can now eat without problems and my speech is getting better daily. I also went for a hearing test and learnt about my hearing loss. In physiotherapy I began sitting straight and rolling and standing independently and now I am walking. In OT I completed toilet training, eating and dressing which I am now able to complete more by myself. I used to wear an eye patch but then after a few weeks it improved so I don’t need it anymore. I also attended different groups with all other people and we helped and stimulated each other. Rehab has been very good. You are not in bed, you are busy with sessions getting stronger all the time.

When I leave rehab I will go home and not go back to work yet. I will continue with therapy as an outpatient in Benoni. My goals for the future include:

Walking without any support

Being able to use both hands independently

I want my face to “come right” and improve my speech

I want to go fishing at the sea

Do a run and complete more training

I want to rest more by the sea and have a holiday

I have learnt a lot from the people I have met. I am a more patient man. I have learnt that your emotions can bring you down and that you need to be patient with yourself. My family has been so supportive with everything, physically and emotionally. I have learnt to look forward and not to dwell on the past. This is now a new start in my life.

For further information regarding any Physical Rehabilitation, contact us on 011 489 1111 or go to our website:

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.