Against the Wind of Stroke

In conjunction with World Stroke Day 2013, Boehringer Ingelheim together with the National Stroke Association of Malaysia (NASAM) hosted a movie screening to generate awareness of stroke, who it could happen to, as well as the importance of a strong support system to survivors.

The movie, titled “Against The Wind” features the plight of eight stroke survivors that shows the public of their life before and how it currently is. This heart-warming documentary is produced by award-winning director, Wayne Peng, from Taiwan with the aim of spreading the message that stroke can happen to anyone and that there is life after stroke whilst urging the public to take precautions.

A stroke is a brain attack and occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. Stroke is a non-communicable disease which claims a life every six seconds, according to the World Stroke Organization. The common types of stroke are Ischemic (clots), Haemorrhagic (bleeds), Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) and Atrial Fibrillation (AF) – related stroke. However, regardless of the type of stroke, both survivors and caregivers will experience a profound emotional and financial impact.

Professor Hamidon Basri, President of the Malaysian Society of Neurosciences said, “Anyone can have a stroke. While most Malaysians are aware or have heard of stroke, many are still unaware of the resulting consequences of suffering from it. Stroke is the third largest cause of death in Malaysia. An estimated 50,000 people in Malaysia suffer from stroke every year.”

According to Datuk Dr Razali Omar, Consultant Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist from National Heart Institute (Institut Jantung Negara), atrial fibrillation causes the heart to beat irregularly and often at a too fast or too slow heart rate. People with AF are five times more likely to have a stroke than people without AF. “The physical, emotional and financial burden of stroke has a negative impact on patients and their caregivers. With increased awareness as well as early diagnosis of AF, we hope to be able to minimize and even prevent AF-related strokes in the future,” added Datuk Razali.

Mr. Cheong Yee Kok, Managing Director of Boehringer Ingelheim Malaysia said, “Many a times, people are not aware when stroke strikes and they do not know how to deal with the consequences. who is watching it. We fully support NASAM’s endeavors in creating awareness on and the importance of prevention of stroke. We hope to be able to work with NASAM on similar awareness campaigns in the future.”

In the film “Against the Wind”, there is one common theme. When a family member suffers from stroke, the whole family is affected. Some of these stroke survivors have a story worth recounting. They are among the many stroke survivors who have made a commitment to undergo the rehabilitation programme to get their lives back on track. It takes courage, patience, and the willpower to succeed. These stroke survivors are living examples that there is hope.