Friday, June 21, 2024

Courageous Piper honoured with national stroke award

A six-year-old stroke survivor from Albury, NSW, has been recognised for her courage and bravery at the 2024 Stroke Awards. 

Piper Wakley-Keighran was named one of three winners of the Warrior Award at a ceremony in Melbourne. 

The award recognises children and teens (aged 18 and under) who have raised awareness of stroke, supported the recovery of a loved one, or shown drive and resilience in their own recovery.  

It was December 18th last year when stroke changed little Piper’s life. She had been relaxing at home when she became unresponsive. Piper was immediately rushed to Albury Hospital where doctors discovered she’d had a stroke.  

Piper’s mum Tayla said she was put on life support and transferred to Monash Hospital. 

“That night, Piper had emergency surgery to insert a drain into her brain. She was given a small chance of survival, and if she did, doctors said it would be unlikely she would walk or talk again,” Tayla said. 

“Thank goodness she did. She was in hospital for a month and has since made an incredible recovery. The doctors called her a fighter. 

“Not long after she was discharged, she started primary school which was a huge achievement. Piper’s optimism is something we all admire, we’re so grateful for her perseverance and strength.” 

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. Around 600 Australian children have a stroke each year, about a third of all strokes in children occur under one year of age.   

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lisa Murphy congratulated Piper on the accolade. 

“Piper is such an inspirational little girl. She has a fighting spirit and a strong and courageous attitude which has no doubt served her well at primary school,” Dr Murphy said.  

“It’s a privilege to be able to recognise Piper for all that she has achieved since her stroke five months ago. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Piper.  

The Stroke Awards celebrate the unsung heroes in our community who go above and beyond to improve the lives of Australians affected by stroke. This includes survivors of stroke, carers, volunteers, fundraisers, health professionals and researchers.  

The winners of the Stroke Warrior Award are:   

  • Piper Wakley-Keighran – NSW 
  • Joe Holden – NSW 
  • Spencer McPherson – QLD 

There are eight categories in total: Stroke Warrior, Improving Life After Stroke, Creative, Courage, First Nations Stroke Excellence, Fundraiser of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and President’s Achievement.   

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