National Stroke Week: Greenbank Dad Shares Recovery Journey and Message to Act FAST

National Stroke Recovery
Photo Credit: Lukas Bieri/Pixabay

Do you know how to spot the most common signs of stroke? In observance of National Stroke Week, here’s a reminder that acting fast can be critical to saving someone’s life. A stroke can happen at any time and at any age, as in the case of Shaun Bickley, 38, from Greenbank. 

Shaun, a fairly young man who embraces a healthy lifestyle, experienced severe headaches overnight and woke up losing his sight in one eye. He and his wife, Lauren Bickley, went to the hospital for some tests and that’s where Shaun had a stroke and lost all of his eyesight completely.

As stroke affects the brain — the human control centre for thoughts, feelings and movements — Shaun lost his ability to speak and became paralysed on one side of his body. 


  • Stroke can happen to anyone at any age, as in the case of Shaun Bickley, a healthy dad at 38.
  • Acting F.A.S.T. can make a difference in a stroke victim’s recovery.
  • Raising awareness on F. A. S. T. is in observance of National Stroke Week from 2 to 8 Aug 2021.

“I was warned to brace for the worst, which is heart-breaking,” Lauren said. “Thankfully, Shaun pulled through.”

It took the Greenbank local six weeks of rehabilitation to regain his function to walk and speak. Whilst Lauren thought her husband was doing better, Shaun suffered another stroke. However, with the help of Lauren and the medical workers, his determination to get better brought great gains to his recovery.

Photo Credit: Supplied

In 2020, more than 5,300 suffered from stroke for the first time in Queensland. There are an estimated 87,000 stroke survivors in the community. 

Stroke Foundation Queensland State Manager Andrea Sanders said that when a stroke happens to an individual, the family and people close to that person feels the impact. 

With the theme “United by Stroke” for National Stroke Week from 2 to 8 Aug 2021, the couple wants to thank the healthcare professionals who have crucial roles in the patient’s recovery from stroke: from the person who takes the 000 calls, to the paramedics, surgeons, and allied health professionals. 

“Those actions unite people along the stroke journey and improve the chance of survival and recovery. Getting that urgent medical attention is so critical, which is why we want everyone to learn the F.A.S.T message,” Ms Sanders said.  

Photo Credit: Supplied

To recognise the most common signs of stroke, remember to act F. A. S. T. (Face Arms Speech Time): 

  • Face –  Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms – Can they lift both arms?
  • Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time is critical – If you see any of these signs call triple zero (000) straight away

Learn the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke from Stroke Foundation on Vimeo.