A Defibrillator won’t work on a Stroke Victim

I sit here thanking my lucky stars after reading this story from the Herald:


A presumably otherwise healthy 42 year old woman collapses during a gym session. She died in hospital shortly afterwards.

I had a type of stroke in 2006 at the age of 31.
Unbeknownst to me I had a cluster of malformed blood vessels nesting in my brain. The condition is known as an Arteriovenous Malformation. It’s sometimes described as a type of aneurysm.

It bled one afternoon. I had no idea what was happening but assumed it was a migraine caused by my pregnancy. My husband, a sensible chap, called an emergency crew who kept me from dying on the way to wellington hospital. The prognosis was originally poor but I was operated on successfully.

I woke from the operation with complete left side paralysis and a thirst for morphine to keep the incredible pain at bay.

I awoke not knowing what a stroke was and was told that I’d have to learn to walk again as an adult.
Like me, much of New Zealand could tell you what the symptoms of a heart attack were but not many could tell you how to identify a stroke.

From the story:

“The class trainer used a defibrillator to try to revive her, and two other women trained as nurses also tried to help her”.

A defibrillator won’t help a stroke victim. I’m not knocking the good Samaritans but I’m wondering if they presumed “heart attack” and shocked the poor woman at an early stage.

There is barely any information around the signs of stroke in wider population. The Stroke Foundation and the Government do a terrible job at informing the public of the signs of stroke:

The material is there if you look for it:

From the Stroke Foundation page:


Discuss and share:

Become enlightened.
Get the newsletter: