International Day of People with Disability we share the below incredible story of a woman who faced a life-threatening stroke which left her significantly disabled and has defied every odd on her recovery.
To get a snapshot of Maria's story, in this compelling video
Twelve years ago, Maria was fit, healthy and playing with her three children in the park when she suffered a severe stroke, instantly knocking her into a coma fighting for her life. Her husband was told to bring the kids to Brisbane's PA Hospital and prepare to say goodbye to Maria given her grave condition.
But, Maria was determined to not give up, waking up to the reality of her stroke that she could not speak and struggled to move much of her body – left with severe disability. Spending twelve months in a brain injury rehab unit, though Maria wasn't giving up, she was told she'd never walk again.
Determined to stand tall and on her own two feet again, Maria found her new home within Queensland's only custom-built gym for people with disability, Sporting Wheelies, and given a sliver of hope upon meeting Exercise Physiologist, Ernest who mapped out a plan, using revolutionary rehabilitation techniques, to see Maria walk again.
Leveraging methods from the latest NeuroMoves Program to support immense progress both physically and mentally, working to retrain her brain and regain functional movement, Ernest has been working with Maria for many years and this year, walked alongside her as she crossed the finish line of the iconic Bridge to Brisbane.
With her now grown children and her husband cheering her on, Maria was able to walk and this International Day of People with Disability, wants to show other living with disability that they too can dream big, even in the face of extreme adversity.