THE faces of her family are her strongest memories.
Jacci Quinlivan could only watch their reactions when doctors said she would be going into a psychiatric unit for a condition she did not have.
“The look on the faces of the ones I loved told me something was up but I couldn’t reciprocate any feelings,” she said.
Only days earlier, Ms Quinlivan suffered a stroke in the Albury emergency department unbeknown to her, her family and hospital staff.
She had woken up on the morning after her 21st birthday with an intense migraine and unable to talk or walk after days of experiencing symptoms of what was to come.
Because the stroke happened as she lay in hospital, it never showed on the brain scans and a doctor thought it was a mental illness.
“I don’t remember much but I was so scared,” she said.
It has been seven years since she had the stroke and Ms Quinlivan, now married with two children, said she was 95 per cent.
She had aimed to lend her voice to raising money for the Border’s only stroke support group.
Mrs Quinlivan got her best friend to read out her speech at the Community Crew @ Albury organised fund-raiser at Murray Gardens.
The stirring speech helped to raise possibly thousands of dollars for the Albury-Wodonga Stroke Recovery Club.
“Strokes can effect anyone, at any age,” Community Crew member Vass Mortimer said.
Ms Quinlivan, who spoke to The Border Mail at her Thurgoona home that afternoon, is testament to that.
It’s a lonely road, particularly for the young, given the majority of stroke sufferers are over the age of 55.
Ms Quinlivan said support groups like the Albury-Wodonga Stroke Recovery Club are important for sufferers.
“I was amazed to hear how many people there are who suffer a stroke at a very young age, it’s not uncommon at all,” she said.
“We just do not hear about it until it happens to someone close to us.”
Money will go towards the group’s aim to run an art therapy workshop.