Inspirational Conference

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Over the weekend of the 17th to 19th April the ESOC (European Stroke Organisation  Conference) took place in Glasgow. It was a professional medical conference discussing  the latest, best and most welcomed news regarding stroke and in particular AF, Atrial Fibrillation.

This conference had the added bonus of being refreshingly different.  It allowed me, and others like me, ‘stroke survivors’ to participate from afar, via twitter.  I believe it made it all the more powerful. ‘Sign against stroke’, tweeted in advance, who the next speaker was to be, and what their specialised subject was. I was not only allowed to pass comment, ask questions but I received responses too. So much so that I truly felt, despite the miles between us, a part of this fabulous three day conference.

As a survivor I feel that it was almost the perfect package, but  the way forward would be combination of a wonderful conference plus the addition of a stroke survivor like myself, who would be prepared to either present a paper from their perspective, answer questions or be prepared to ask questions.

You may wonder why I mention ‘be asked questions’ when as survivors we are generally not medical, I am generalising here, I realise but most of us are not. The reason I say this is that unlike any other conditions there comes a point in stroke recovery, where it is as much down to us, the stroke survivor, as it is to professional outside help.

A simple  example being if we attend regular physiotherapy appointments, yet are not prepared to put daily effort in at home ourselves, what is the point in the physiotherapist giving us that time. We need to be honest about what we put into our recovery ourselves. Do we do as advised regarding diet, medication etc? It works both ways. The professionals can help us with things we do not understand, for this we are truly grateful, but we can also educate them in areas of difficulty and concerns that we experience as a survivor.

At this point I wish to say a huge thank you to the organiser of the ESOC, for putting together such a superb conference, covering poignant and meaningful topics, especially AF, prevention and stroke in younger ages too.

Once again a big thank you, to ‘Sign against Stroke’ for making me feel a part of it, it was both fascinating and inspiring. A breath of fresh air to hear such things being addressed and recognised.

‘Sign against a Stroke’ have also very kindly included a piece in today’s blog which I have pleasure in sharing with you.

Whilst we were very happy that our reporting of the best science and breaking news about stroke and atrial fibrillation from the inaugural European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) in Glasgow was well received, we were perhaps even more pleased to see patient voices intervening in the conference Twitter feed throughout the event’s three days.

Sas Freeman’s noteworthy contributions saw the conference organiser itself thanking her, and it is to be hoped that ESOC will build upon its success by doing everything that it can to integrate patient opinion into its 2016 event in Barcelona.

The benefits of ESOC’s supporting the full participation of all stakeholders in the discussion about stroke prevention and management are manifold.

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