Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sarah-Jane Gapps Story/Happy Tuesday Blog Hop

Welcome To Happy Tuesday Blog Hop

Welcome to my 7th Happy Tuesday Blog Hop.

 This blog hop will run from Tuesday the 19th to Thursday the 14th October. Each week I will post an inspirational story or poem to help inspire you to have a great day and wonderful week. I will choose someone from the previous Blog Hop to Feature as Blog Hopper of the week. For me to do this you must place this button onto your page. Good luck. 
This week I am going to share with you an inspirational story, that I think will help you to count your blessings and appreciate life as you know. You just never know what is around the corner.

This is Sarah-Jane Gapps story:

On 28 August 2008, one month after my 21st birthday, I had a massive stroke in my brain stem. By all accounts I am a miracle, both for still being alive and for healing as well as I have so far.

After my operations, I woke up on a ventilator with pipes everywhere. I couldn’t move, but I could hear. It was the most horrific experience any human could imagine! After a few weeks I opened my eyes, then after three months could nod and shake my head. Physically, I was just like a baby when you think about it. Mentally and emotionally I was an adult trapped in a non-functioning body.

My Mum, Jane, has been with me every step of the way. Having read "The Brian That Changes Itself" Mum found hope and applied neuroplasticity principles to aid recovery. Mum, and my boyfriend at the time Nick Skinn, continually challenged each other to find new ways to move and strengthen my muscles. Together they moved my limbs daily for hours during my last 3 months in ICU. Through daily stimulation and movement I slowly began to regain lost functioning. At first, my body began to spasm. Mum and my Grandma, a GP with over 40 years experience, rejected anti-spasmodic drugs like Baclofen. The more my legs were moved, the more they would ache and feel restless, so the more I would ask for Mum, Grandma and Nick to move them.

Mum sourced a number of alternative therapists and still does. Reflexology, reikki, tactile therapy, Brazillian toe massage, music therapy, colour therapy, acupuncture, Bowen therapy, massage, energetic medicine. A friend put Mum in contact with Rhett Ogston, a Flametree practitioner. Rhett came to ICU and kindly treated me as a critical care patient for no charge. Rhett came most days for many months. Rhett's broad knowledge of the multi-tiered human, his dedication and energetic healing greatly assisted my recovery. My jaw was locked shut for weeks and 4 days after Rhett began acupuncture it started to open. The Flametree logo is at the top of the page. Exploring alternative therapies and finding ones that work gives hope and improved health.

I was in the intensive care unit of Royal Brisbane Hospital for 6 months. For 15 months home, for me, was the respiratory ward at Royal Brisbane Hospital. I owe my respiratory recovery and sanity to Dr Rob Boots. He is a great man and an extremely knowledgeable Associate Professor…when I leave the hospital I will have him anointed “Divine Ruler of the World”

The allied health professionals and consultants at Royal Brisbane have recommended I receive intensive therapy at a rehabilitation hospital. We were all very surprised when each facility rejected me for intensive therapy. I felt discriminated against. How can they say I won’t make gains, when I make gains everyday?


On June 4 2010, Mum discharged me from hospital. I live with her and my brother, Riley. Being home offers everyday opportunities to relearn old skills. I have more of my life back! I go to the Princess Alexander Hospital for an hour of speech, occupational therapy and physical therapy once a week.

We are slowly establishing an exercise routine at home. Delays in funding through Disability Services Queensland have seen the complete rehabilitation program stall.


We are currently fund raising so I can go to Therapiezentrum Burgau, a world class intensive rehabilitation facility in Germany. The clinic believes they can help me and are keen to work towards removing my tracheostomy. They use neuroplasticity principles successfully to treat coma and other brain injury patients. The clinic offers a range of therapies, including art and music, that sit alongside allied health therapies. We are trying to raise $150.000 for three months.

Leaving home is scary, I don't like flying in planes. Never eating again is scarier though! So it's an easy choice for me.


* We will be working with the following organisatiions and individuals:

* BIRU Outpatients: overseeing ‘at home” programs for physical therapies, occupational therapies and speech and swallow therapy. One hour of each per week.

* Ian Hunter: Neuro developmental Therapist www.braininjury.com.au

* Walk On Program: Spinal Chord Injuries Association www.scia.org.au/walk_on

* Rhett Ogston: Flametree Practitioner; Alternative Therapies. www.qihealth.clinic.com

* Carmen MacAtee: Bowen Therapy and Massage. www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/therapist/8009

* our volunteers


1. Eating!!!! Try and imagine what it is like never to drink or eat ANYTHING! Try doing it for a few hours or a few days! People get invited over for a bbq, lunch, dinner a cup of tea. I can’t do any of those.

2. Talking: My teeth were damaged in ICU they used to be perfect. Now they are causing problems. Fixing them will help my swallow and my speech.

3. Walking: Again try not walking, for a few hours, a day! It would be impossible. I am dependant on everyone until I learn to walk again

4. Typing and Writing: I need to relearn these skills, for work, study, everyday life “stuff” but most importantly to assist with my communication. Through the internet at home I can connect with friends and people around the world and tell my story, help where I can. I will be able to make new friendships and develop new computing skills.


Norman Doidge, author of the “The Brian That Changes Itself” is coming to interview Mum and I in September for his next book. We want to share our journey with others and help where we can.

Channel 7’s Sunday Night show has been followed my story for almost a year. The story should be aired soon


People’s compassion and friendship…

People include me in their lives even though I am in hospital.

All those babies that have come into my life!!! Just divine!

Music…it’s very important to me, thank you to all my friends who have brought music into me at the hospital.

Riley lives at home with me now, it’s good to constantly have a friend.

I have Mitzi, my dog, back home with me at last.

I miss working, I even miss the bus.

I miss walking home, which I might add was 11 kms which I could do in 45 minutes.

Even the thought of eating dad’s poo pie makes me happy.

Enjoy eating, because I can’t….

Enjoy standing because I can’t…

Enjoy dancing because I can’t…

Enjoy looking in the mirror, because I hate it…

I look forward to the day when I can do all these things again….and with your help I know I can…


I also want to thank everyone for helping me over the last 24 months and for reading my story.

To all my family, friends and volunteers for their love and continuing support, without you all, my journey would be lonely and dark.

To all the staff at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, I must have been difficult to deal with some times. The staff and patients are warm hearted. I miss them. I don’t miss being jabbed though!


All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. The Developing Foundation commits 90% of funds raised by or donated to our team, to my medical expenses. The remaining 10% is used by the charity to cover credit card charges and administration.

You can help in many ways; donating is only one.

Examples of other ways to help include:

* Help with my home exercises and rehabilitation.

* Helping with day to day tasks and home maintenance

* If you have any time, resources or skills you can offer, please don't hesitate to contact us. It often amazes people what turns out to be helpful.


• Joining my team and helping to seek donations for Riverwalk '2010’

• Recruiting others to join my team

• Sponsoring this web page

• E-mailing my page to friends & family

• Helping to publicise my page and my teams fund raising drive in any other way

If you would like to receive regular newsletters and updates, email us and we will put you on our list.

Likewise if we can offer any assistance to other stroke, or acquired brain injury patients, then please contact us. Well will help if we can.

For more information contact us:

• E-mail: janegapp@yahoo.com.au

Thank you

Please support the Gapp Family in their effort to $150,000.

This weeks featured Blog is:
 How does this blog hop work? 

 1. Make sure to follow Jamarah Crafty Creations, and The Adventures Of A Greek/Italian Girl

2. So I can follow you back, please make sure and leave a comment (below on this post) saying that you are a new follower and also leave a link to your blog. You can leave me a comment if you are already following so I can visit you and see what's happening.

3. Add your blog name and the URL to one of your favorite posts on the Linky below.

4. Optional if you have something please post an inspirational story or poem for others to read to help inspire others.

5. Please follow at-least 2 blogs on the list that appeal to you

6. Your blog must be family friendly ONLY. Explicit sites will be removed from the list.

I am also participating in these blog hops:

mingle mondays buttonPhotobucketrandomtuesdayTuesday Tag-AlongTo-the-TOP TuesdayPhotobucket
The Girl Creative
The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom


  1. Sarah is such an inspirational chic!! I cried when I read this!!


  3. Hi!! Thanks so much for featuring my blog, very sweet of you. I'm honored. I unfortunately would love to help with the donations but as a matter of fact my mom is in a bad financial situation. So we don' have hardly any money ourselves, if the situation was different I would love to help. I was wondering if you could do me a favor. If you get a chance if you could please stop by my blog & look at my sidebar. A few minutes ago I noticed my sidebar shifted & is on the bottom of my blog for some odd reason. I'm hoping it's just a quick error not something wrong with my blog. I don't know if it's just my computer that has the error. So I was wondering if you could check & see if you saw the same thing & then let me know. I would appreciate it. I hope you have a great week!

  4. Hi just checking in :) Thanks for hosting this great hop. Please feel free to stop by my blog any time :)

    Best wishes!

    Nay x

    Moonangelnay Handmade Blog

  5. Great blog hop. Very inspirational.
    Diane from survivordiane.blogspot.com

  6. Hello! I am a new follower from Follow Me Back Tuesday, so glad to have found your blog and really enjoyed reading such an inspirational story. Look forward to reading more of your great blog. Hope you have a wonderful evening!


  7. Such an inspirational story...thank you for sharing. I'm a new follower, I'd love you to visit my blog when you can.

    Missy Schranz

  8. Thanks for stopping by... following back =)


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I really appreciate it. Looking forward to reading what you think. God Bless