Photo of Elizabeth Gurrieri

Elizabeth

Returning to driving after a stroke                                

I was visiting family in Queensland in August 2014 when I had a stroke two days before I was due to return home which resulted in left-side paralysis. I spent five days in the Mater Hospital in Brisbane and then two months in the Brisbane Mater Rehabilitation Unit. The stroke affected my left side but my speech is fine however I can tend to slur my words when I get tired. I returned home in late October 2014 and was referred to Royal Rehab where everyone I have had contact with have been very efficient and helpful.

I have been driving since I was 19 years old and my doctor knew I was keen to return to driving. I had my Occupational Therapist Assessment on Tuesday 24 March 2015 which I found to be quite an intensive process but the assessment covered everything very well. The assessment included driving scenarios on a computer screen which required a response within three seconds and the Occupational Therapist also checked my physical condition. I have not yet been approved to drive again, my left arm is still a bit weak and I will have a couple of lessons to learn how to adapt the use of my left arm to avoid causing myself an injury to my left arm or shoulder.

I am confident of regaining my licence. I am going to replace my car for a smaller automatic car to make negotiating roundabouts and parking easier however my car will not require any modifications.

At present I use Community Transport during the week as my family go to work during the week however my family assist me with transport on the weekends.

Find out more about our Driver Training, Assessment and Rehab

Getting my licence will give me more independence and I will be able to go out during the week for shopping and visiting friends.