Two years ago the once fit and active former wine representative was at work when she suffered a burst brain aneurism, which was followed by a stroke a few days later.
Shona was left paralyzed down the left side of her body and was sent to a rehabilitation centre in Dunedin to re-learn to walk and move her limbs.
Shona quickly realized she would never return to the life she once had and continues to struggle navigating stairs, walks with a limp and gets tired quickly.
“It’s had a huge effect on my life … I used to be totally independent, but I lost my independence. I had to rely on other people all of the time.”
Shona was then referred to Sandra Stiles at Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust.
“She did heaps to help me. It was someone to talk to outside of things … she’s a very caring, nurturing person.”
Sandra would go walking with Shona for an hour every week, which Shona found “liberating”.
And with Sandra, Shona achieved her biggest milestone since the medical event to date – walked 6km in the Invercargill Surf to City event.