Advancing Healthcare for the people of North Shore, Rodney and Waitakere

Kirsty's marathon effort

Kirsty's marathon effort

Giving back to help others

After the hard work of recovering from a stroke while also nursing her new baby, former patient Kirsty Spears chose to raise funds to help others. Read Kirsty’s extraordinary story in her own words...

Over two years ago I had just about the biggest seven days of my life.

My daughter Isobel was born and immediately became the centre of the universe for us. Unfortunately six days later I suffered a brain haemorrhage that left me in intensive care for a couple of days and then with partial paralysis. I was moved to North Shore Hospital and that is where my recovery really began.

Initially it was unclear whether I would be able to walk again and there was significant loss of sensation all the way down my right hand side. Happily I was still able to talk though. According to those around me it seems that skill wasn't even momentarily interrupted! 

So many wonderful people at North Shore Hospital

During our time at North Shore Hospital we encountered so many wonderful people who took care of not just me but a newborn baby and a brand new Dad as well.

There are many, many examples of medical, practical and emotional help we received and so I have decided to pick just one which stuck with me every day throughout my recovery. I had started physio, which at this point consisted of someone holding me up and shifting my weight from foot to foot. That was all I was capable of.

It was exhausting, difficult and, if I am honest, humiliating but as my frustration grew the wonderful lady who was helping me said this one simple thing - 'remember that whatever happens from here, this is as hard as it is ever going to be'.

Each day I got a little better and by the time I left for rehab I was able to stand by myself. The walking took a little longer and I still have a 'funny foot' that can let me down from time-to-time. All-in-all I consider it a lucky escape though! 

Marathon effort paid for mobile hearing aids

So I decided to run a marathon and raise funds to help other stroke patients and the wonderful staff who look after them. After finding out from them what could make life easier for patients I decided on small items that would make a difference,eg, people are often rushed into hospital without their hearing aids or they suddenly develop new hearing loss.

Having a mobile hearing aid with a specialised amplifier available in the ward will allow staff to communicate directly with the patient, minimising anxiety and keeping them well informed about their assessment and treatment plan. These cost between $350 and $550 each and this was what I decided to raise funds for.

Staff working with stroke patients at North Shore Hospital report that the new technology is making a big impact. The charge nurse manager’s first message after it arrived on the ward was 'It’s perfect. We love it.' Good news all around. 

Stroke a cause dear to our hearts

Granted it was not a glamorous or trendy cause and there were no fluffy animals or celebs that we could parade, but it is a cause very close to our hearts because after all they did help to return this mummy home to her little girl in one piece.

Many thanks to all the people who supported me running the marathon from Me, Mat, Izzy and all the people who will benefit from your generosity in the future.


Thinking of participating in a similar event?

Would you be willing to raise funds to support the Well Foundation? We’d love to hear from you and will support your efforts with information and material for your online fundraising page. Contact info@wellfoundation.org.nz or call 09 447 0138.

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