Perron Institute clinic patient Shane Hopkins was interviewed by Tracy Vo for a national Channel Nine News story about a new drug showing promising results for stroke sufferers, developed by researchers at the Perron Institute.

In the recent news story, Shane shared details about the stroke he suffered ten years ago and said he considers himself lucky. The 56-year-old from Perth was working as a nurse manager at the time, and lost his speech and had to learn how to walk and talk again.

Shane spent months in Sir Charles Gairdner and Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospitals at the beginning of his post-stroke journey.

“I remember it was hard,” he said. “I remember doing physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy during that time, which continued for many years.

“The speech therapists at SCGH were excellent and my physiotherapy experience was great. The therapists at the State Head Injury Unit were helpful too.

“At the Perron Institute, Dr Soumya Ghosh has been my neurologist for about five years, and he has been helpful with my therapy. My other neurologist is Dr David Blacker, who I met the day I had my stroke, and he has been fantastic.

“My psychologist Michelle Byrnes, who I met through a friend who was a patient at the Perron Institute, has been involved in my ongoing therapy for almost ten years. She is encouraging with all my therapies and some of my goals, she has been wonderful.

“I am currently doing an Urban and Regional Planning degree at Curtin University. Eventually, I hope to get a planning job in the next couple of years, and I believe I will do well in it!

“Planning has been a long time coming for me. I was interested in the field in the mid-1990s but only started doing the degree in 2005. I particularly enjoy Transport Planning, and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage in Perth is on my work wish list!”

Shane’s personal interests include spending time with family and friends and going to the gym, particularly at Physique Fitness, run by Peter (also a stroke survivor) who runs classes for people including those who have had a stroke and other head injuries.

Shane also has an autograph collection he started in 1977 when he was ten years old.

“I have collected almost 14,000 autographs from different fields of interest. It’s tricky to pick favourites, but Neil Armstrong, Sir Edmund Hillary, Katharine Hepburn, Betty Davis, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Nelson Mandela stand out.”

Photo caption: Shane pictured with Claire Tucak, senior neurophysiotherapist.