|Posted by Jaz Gray on February 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM|
1) Describe the type of AVM you have? What was the first sign?
I had a brain AVM in my right Temporal Lobe, the first indication of it was when I suffered a stroke whilst training in the gym. I had no idea what an AVM was and had absolutely no idea I had one myself.
2) How did you eventually come to receive treatment?
Upon presentation with my brain hemorrhage/stroke and paralysis, I was diagnosed and had subsequent brain surgery 3 days later.
3) Who are/were your main doctors, where were you treated and how was the care?
I was treated at Frenchay Hospital by a neurosugeon called Mr. Porter, very well qualified in his field. My treatment was fantastic and the nursing team very caring and understanding.
4) How is your health now?
My physical recovery was very challenging. I had to learn to walk again and use my left arm/hand, yet I set myself a goal to get back into shape and compete at a physique competition, which I achieved. My mental state was a much more difficult and lengthy process which I still have issues with today. I also suffered a Grand mal seizure in Dec 2011, 17 months after I was discharged from hospital.
5) How has having an AVM changed your life?
You appreciate and acknowledge life and your existence much more. I don't take anything for granted and really truly believe in maintaining your health and fitness because you never know what's round the corner. If it was not for my own dedication to my health and fitness, I would not be writing this.
6) What has been your biggest challenge in the battle with AVM?
It has left me with depression and the mental scarring. Presenting itself in such a way, I should have lost my life due to the amount of blood in my brain. The stroke left a harrowing scar on my and my families life, it changed my personality and left me very frustrated and angry.
7) What do you think a documentary about those surviving AVM canachieve?
That with the right treatment, you can live life to the full, that nothing should hold you back. An understanding of what an AVM is to the general public, that it is this rare illness and it has such devastating consequences.
8.) What are your hopes for the future of AVM research?
Continuing improvements and treatments including prescribed medicines
9) What has been the biggest lesson you've learned throughout your journey thus far?
Don't EVER, EVER give up!