Like many other retired couples in their early 60s, Pauline and David Rowe love spoiling their five grandkids, catching up with friends and travelling.

Following a normal Sunday in February where David went for his regular bike ride and the couple attended a first birthday party, the furthest thought on their minds was a health scare.

David was home relaxing on the couch on Sunday evening when he suddenly felt his left arm “go floppy”. Initially unsure whether to shake it off or take it seriously, Pauline soon called an ambulance who were immediately concerned, and eventually the couple were told David had suffered a stroke.

“We first went to emergency at Modbury Hospital, then went to Lyell McEwin Hospital on Monday morning,” Pauline said.

“We were told he’d had a stoke on his right side, caused by blocked arteries in the neck vein.

“We had fabulous care everywhere we went. Our case worker was fantastic, we were so lucky.”

Due to the quick attention and first class care he received, David has been recovering well and the couple even managed to keep a cruise booking they had planned for the following month.

Pauline however, as a lifelong smoker, started to feel bad that David had been hit by poor health when he had always kept such a healthy lifestyle.

“Before Christmas I tried to give up smoking, but went back on them when David had his episode. It was terrible, I said ‘I have to get rid of these!’

“So on the first day of our cruise in March, I put a patch on and have been clean ever since.

“David has been hugely supportive and reminding me how much money I’m saving. It’s about $125 a week – it’s quite ludicrous to believe the amount of money I’d been spending.”

Selflessly, Pauline wanted to pass the money on.

“I didn’t want the money and I’d been meaning to donate to The Hospital Research Foundation office at Lyell McEwin. So the next time we had an appointment there, we went in and donated my weekly savings.”

THRF is very grateful for the support, but we’re even more proud that Pauline is taking steps to improve her health!

“I feel really good! I’m not even coughing at night anymore and my headaches have eased. I’m never going back.”


To make a donation in honour of great patient care you’ve received at hospital and to progress medical research, click here.