“Given a choice, I would have dressed for the occasion. I dressed for every occasion, even nightmares. But this time… I was caught unaware… I was no longer in control.”
Terence never dreamt he would suffer a stroke. After all, didn’t strokes happen only to old people? Terence did not die, he survived. But there is a difference between just surviving and living “magnificently and beautifully”.
A Cry In The Dark details the journey of Terence Ang, an established marketing professional who had it all, until he suffered a stroke that crumbled his life. Determined to regain full function and mobility, Terrence put his all into physiotherapy sessions where he went through denial, anger and finally, acceptance. His life changing experience evoked a sense immense gratitude for the simple things in life he once took for granted.
This book is written, and illustrated with Terence’s ‘non-functional’ right hand. Although his story may have begun with a cry in the dark, he discovers he has more strength, more courage and much more in himself than he can ever think or imagine.
As a reluctant participant at first, Mr. Terence Ang has decided to take part in Singapore’s 14th World Stroke Congress 2022.
This stroke survivor released a 1-minute promotional video, which involved hours of recording, to support his recent bestselling book A Cry in the Dark on his experiences during recovery.
As you can see from this video, I’m at my best and though it’s far from perfect, I wanted it to be as real as possible,” says Terence.
Terence is a fighter who has beaten the odds and lived to tell the tale, according to Ms. Evelyn Khoo, founder of Aphasia SG and a speech-language therapist.
As Terence’s speech therapist, I’m incredibly proud of him for taking on the enormous responsibility of presenting at the next World Stroke Congress. Many people find public speaking to be intimidating; can you imaging how terrifying it must be for someone who has communication issues following a stroke? I’m eager to see him overcome his next major challenge—public speaking!
Terence’s rehabilitation doctor for more than one and a half years was Dr. Moses Koh, an associate consultant in rehabilitation medicine from Sengkang General Hospital. He claimed that Terence “really has a stroke recovery story worth telling.” “Despite the ups and downs of his rehabilitation journey on all fronts—physically, emotionally, and cognitively—he has displayed incredible fortitude and bravery in the face of his challenges. I think everyone will be motivated and given hope by what he shared.”
Accepting the Challenge
Being someone who is constantly concerned with appearance, Terence finds it terrifying to even go onstage and speak to a live audience in his current state.
For myself and other stroke survivors, he says, “I’ve chosen to face up to this challenge, to prove that we can overcome our circumstances if we choose to make the effort.” It’s time to start letting go of my fears and consider what a strong message everyone will receive if I do so.
I want to prove to my friends and the medical community that I can do this because they have helped, encouraged, and supported me so much up to this point.
‘A Powerful Voice’
Terence was nominated to deliver the speech by Dr. Shamala Thilarajah, president of the Singapore National Stroke Association, who told him: “Your voice can be powerful.”
Terence was initially hesitant to accept the challenge because he continues to struggle with aphasia, which impairs his speech, memory, and language expression and comprehension. However, after much thought, Terence decided to accept the challenge. Even though he was present at the event, he kept a low profile during the release of his own book and declined to take the stage.
This time, however, he finally gave in and decided to accept the invitation after receiving a lot of encouragement, including that from Dr. Shamala.
Dr. Shamala said, “We heard you in Singapore, and now your views will be shared with medical professionals all over the world.”
Terence will speak to medical professionals from all over the world on his experience with stroke on October 28 at the World Stroke Congress 2022 in Singapore. He will share his personal insights into the patient experience to benefit the stroke community. His speech, which he will deliver to nursing professionals in attendance, is titled My Stroke Journey – How Nurses Made a Difference. He will discuss how nurses’ tolerance, thoughtfulness, and upbeat demeanour can significantly impact a patient’s stay. He will also discuss the nursing shortage in Singapore, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic. He will also assist in urging people to be less demanding and more patient with nurses.
Deeply passionate about patient rehabilitation, Terence continues to amplify the voices of stroke victims and provide them with the help and resources they need to feel less alone in their recovery process. At the event, leading professionals in the global community will discuss the latest science, clinical trials, breakthroughs and guidelines to stroke prevention. The program aims to serve as a professional exchange and networking platform for all medical practitioners and researchers committed to providing stroke care around the world and fostering a more united stroke community.
This international conference will bring together the stroke community from around the world to discuss how to deliver improvements in prevention, treatment, and support to lessen the burden of stroke. It will take place in Singapore from October 26 to October 29 at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Center.
In August 2020, Terence experienced a stroke. The largest electronics and home company in Singapore at the time had him in charge of digital marketing and e-commerce. His second book, which will be a collection of short stories with accompanying illustrations that will powerfully and fascinatingly shed light on life after a stroke, is currently under development.
As a stroke survivor, he wanted to make a difference in someone’s life through his own journey with the hope of providing a positive outlook as one navigates everyday life. While the first book – A Cry In The Dark; is about me dealing with the aftermath of a stroke, the second book will feature stroke survivors sharing the individual story of their own journey. He is working with three young 2nd-year Bachelor of Arts Design Practice students from NAFA as well as 2 filmmakers in Singapore. It is scheduled to be released in New York City by the end of 2022..
For more information on the World Stroke Congress and Terence Ang’s participation, visit the website www.worldstrokecongress.org
Other useful links:
World Stroke Day Theme Sends a Vital Message About Preventing Catastrophic Disruption To Lives
Terence’s creative approach to sharing his experience and insights for the nursing profession highlights the importance of involving people with lived experience in healthcare design.”
— SNSA president Dr Shamala Thilarajah
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE, October 28, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Mission accomplished!
Last August, stroke survivor and author of A Cry in the Dark, Mr Terence Ang, was asked by Singapore National Stroke Association (SNSA) president Dr. Shamala Thilarajah to speak at the 14th World Stroke Congress (WSC) that would be held in Singapore this year.
Reluctant at first, as he still struggles with aphasia which affects his speech and memory, especially language expression and comprehension, he eventually agreed because he needed to overcome this situation for himself and hopefully become an example for other stroke survivors.
Mr Ang understands the important job the World Stroke Organization (WSO) is doing and how vital their mission is to raise awareness among the public. Two years ago, Mr Ang was a victim of a hemorrhagic stroke and while he survived, the life that he led has been disrupted and it has not been easy adjusting to his disabilities.
Yesterday, Mr Ang made it to the podium and was one of the speakers on Breadth of Nursing in Stroke Care at the WSC taking place this week at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. The global event brings together the international stroke community and ends today on World Stroke Day, which is held every October 29.
Mr Ang's topic, Sharing By Person with Lived Experience in Their Stroke Journey and How Nurses Made a Difference, offered personal insights into the patient experience and highlighted the need to acknowledge our nursing staff who are generally overworked and under-appreciated.
SNSA president Dr Shamala Thilarajah said Terence’s creative approach to sharing his experience and insights for the nursing profession highlights the importance of involving people with lived experience in healthcare design. His presentation was well-received by the audience of mainly nursing experts and healthcare professionals, who also took home a signed copy of his book A Cry in the Dark.
Ms Leanne Whiley, the Acting Stroke Co-Ordinator at the Rockhampton Hospital in Queensland, Australia, said Mr Ang's sharing is a good reminder for nurses to not just focus on clinical processes but to also remember the actual people under their care. "Patients are holistic beings, so it shouldn't always just be about clinical processes, but understanding the patient as well."
Professor Sandy Middleton, Director of Australia's Nursing Research Institute, expressed keen interest in showing the presentation to "every single nurse, including undergraduate nurses, and not just stroke nurses. It's that inspiring!"
Over six million lives are claimed by stroke each year, while many more are left disabled in some form or another. Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability worldwide, so to say that more people need to be aware of this very serious and widespread condition is an understatement. Mr Ang learned from the SNSA that around 8,000 people in Singapore suffer from stroke each year. "This makes it crucial for us to raise awareness of stroke and provide support to stroke survivors and their caregivers," said Dr Shamala Thilarajah.
It is significant that Mr Ang spoke on the eve of the Annual World Stroke Day itself. This year's theme is #Precioustime, to focus attention on the need for timely access to quality stroke treatment. The WSO's campaign aims to teach people how to respond to stroke signs and the need for quick access to emergency medical care.
At the end of the day, it is about saving lives and giving survivors a better chance for recovery. It is hoped that greater awareness will result in more integrated care packages and better universal health coverage as well. One unexpected outcome of Mr Ang's stroke was his first effort at publishing a book, and the positive response to A Cry in the Dark has motivated him to work on a follow-up book, Emerging From the Dark, which will be out later this year. To quote the SNSA: "Stroke may not be an easy obstacle to overcome, but that does not mean there is no life after stroke."