The slogan and hashtag of this year’s World Stroke Day is #UpAgainAfterStroke. The SAFE member organisation from Serbia sent us a very inspirational story of a young woman who managed to conquer stroke and kept pursuing her dreams.

Photo: Private archive of Marina Krsmanovic

Marina Krsmanovic from Serbia, a nursery teacher and mother of two, never was a smoker and did sports on regular basis. Despite her healthy lifestyle, in December 2017 she felt that her right arm was paralysed, she lost her sight and she noticed speech difficulties.  

She did not wait and she immediately called for help. Within one hour she was admitted to St. Sava (Sveti Sava) Special Hospital for cerebrovascular diseases in Belgrade, Serbia. The medics diagnosed a stroke which was a consequence of a congenital heart disease. She was sent to the Institute of Cardiovascular diseases where she had a heart surgery on 24th January 2018.

She found her motivation and strength for recovery in her children. She adopted a new diet, changed the way of thinking and she now says that she has started enjoying her life, finding happiness in small things and that she always has positive thoughts. It’s safe to say that her fast reaction at the first symptoms, quick transportation to hospital and of course high quality treatment in the above mentioned medical institutions were the key for her successful recovery. Now, she can function independently, she has returned to her workplace…

When we got in touch with her, we heard some great news and it’s not enough to say that we were amazed. Apart from returning to her everyday routine, Marina has returned to her hobby that she practiced before stroke- downhill mountain biking. She even won a medal at a competition that took place on Zlatibor mountain (Western Serbia) at which she was the only female competitor!

Photo: Private archive

She said that her only goal has been to take part in the competition and to prove it to herself that she could tame the mountain once again. Taking part in the competition is worth all the attention and admiration one could get but winning a medal is like reaching the top of the world.

Photo: Private archive

Her message to all of us is stick to positive thinking, enjoy little things and enjoy your life to the fullest. We hope that Marina’s story will motivate people never to give up and to keep fighting. We, on our behalf, have a duty to do everything we can to make life easier for those who had suffered a stroke, to help them get #UpAgainAfterStroke!

If you want to share your experiences with SAFE and if you want set an example for people who are facing a stroke and all its consequences, please contact us via Facebook and Twitter.