On 27th May 2017, Nathan was involved in a workplace incident where he was hit on the side of the neck by heavy equipment. He suffered a carotid artery dissection which resulted in a stroke, causing left side hemiplegia. The next day, he underwent a craniectomy to relieve pressure on the brain. He was placed in an induced coma for a few days and later woke up to the realisation that he was paralysed on the left side.
He has endured complications and multiple surgeries since his injury, including a failed cranioplasty due to infection which resulted in a second craniectomy taking place. He spent 6 months at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit (BIRU) at Hampstead Rehab where he underwent extensive rehabilitation to relearn and regain movement in his leg and arm and adjust to life as a stroke survivor. He also spent time at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Community and Home (BIRCH) and then later received rehabilitation at various locations in Adelaide. The injury has left Nathan with residual hemiparesis. It is unknown how much he will recover, but he continues to push himself with grit and determination everyday to achieve more.
Nathan is a current serving Flight Lieutenant with the Royal Australian Air Force. He is currently posted in Canberra, where he is attending rehabilitation.
afterstroke was created to document Nathan’s rehabilitation journey following his stroke at the age of 29. Nathan’s determination and strength knows no bounds, overcoming multiple physical, emotional and mental barriers on his road to recovery. Along with his wife Kerrie, they hope that through sharing their story, they can help raise awareness and a greater understanding of young adults with stroke and brain injury.