The Little Book of Hope

Mum asked me to buy this for her after hearing Ade Djajamihardja and Kate Stephens speaking on the radio a few weeks ago. Ade had a devastating stroke several years ago, which left him partially paralysed and facing multiple challenges to regain good health. He tells his own story here, with some sections written by his partner and primary caregiver, Kate.

Not surprisingly Mum and I are always on the lookout for 'stroke stories', especially those with a relatively happy outcome, and Ade and Kate's story is told with good humour and a focus on the positive, without sugar-coating the very real difficulties and pain the couple have endured. Lots of the advice here could apply to ordinary life, not just life after a stroke: change what you can to improve your environment; staying positive is good for the well-being of the people around you as well as yourself; set yourself tiny goals.

There are disappointing stories here too, like the time Ade was invited to an industry conference, planned meticulously so he could attend, and was so excited to be dipping his toe back into his former life. He and Kate arrived at the venue, only to find that at the last minute the conference room had been switched upstairs, which meant that Ade in his wheelchair could no longer be part of the event.

But overall, Ade and Kate's story is an encouraging one, with a focus on making the most of every day, which is a lesson we could all afford to learn, stroke or no stroke.

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