Event to promote stroke awareness

YVETTE BATTEN - NORTH TARANAKI MIDWEEK
Last updated 05:00 16/07/2014
ntm-stroke
Yvette Batten /Fairfax NZ

In memory: Nesha Thompson holds a photograph of her grandfather John Smith, who died from a stroke last year.

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Nesha Thompson of Bell Block wants to commemorate her grandfather's passing by holding a fun community event.

The 31-year-old's grandfather, John Smith, died suddenly from a stroke last year and she wants to raise awareness of the medical condition.

Smith, who took Thompson in when she was 2 weeks old, was like a father to her.

"He was the most amazing and loving man," she said. "I was so lucky to have had him in my life. Losing him to a stroke was sad and very unfair."

Smith died on July 21 and was in hospital for a week beforehand. At the time Thompson did not know much about strokes.

"The thing that scared me with granddad is there were some little signs that I thought had happened prior to it that would have given you a little bit more, ‘let's take him to the doctor'," she said.

"I realised then there was a lot of ignorance about strokes, including the symptoms and what could be done to prevent them."

Thompson's event, which is held to support the Stroke Foundation, is run on July 19 at St Mary's Church Hall from 10am to 1pm.

"Doing this event has made me more determined because Marc, my partner's grandmother, just recently passed away from a stroke."

Entry costs a gold coin.

It includes the YMCA climbing wall, laser sports, face painting, bouncy castle, food stalls and the first 100 people through the door go in the draw for a spot prize.

"I want it to be fun and just to raise awareness that it doesn't just happen to older people. It can happen to toddlers and children."

People are encouraged to dress up and get $5 off a costume from Eyecandy Costumes At A Simple Wish.

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- Taranaki

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