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North Shore University Hospital Presents the "Stroke Quilt of Hope and Possibilities".

Contact: Michelle Pipia-Stiles


In honor of May’s Stroke Awareness Month , The Stroke Center at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) was recently presented with the “Stroke Quilt of Hope and Possibilities,” sewn by Karen Harry of Great Neck, a member service clerk for the Credit Union at NSUH.

Ms. Harry, along with Doris Kash of Glen Cove, stroke club support group leader, presented the idea of the quilt to stroke survivors at their support group meeting, inviting survivors to create their own quilt panel. Each survivor was asked to provide personal items for Ms. Harry to include on the panels, representing a survivor’s hobbies before and after they were afflicted with stroke. The idea of the quilt was well received, with 18 survivors participating. For two months, every Friday during her lunch hour, Ms. Harry met with the stroke survivors to learn about each of their individual stories.

At the presentation of the quilt, Joanne Turnier, RN, stroke coordinator and Jeffrey Katz, MD, director of  the Stroke Center at NSUH, expressed their thankfulness to Ms. Harry and the stroke survivors. The quilt will be displayed on the Stroke Unit at NSUH’s Cohen Pavilion.

“Stroke survivors need to have the opportunity to express themselves in different ways,” said Ms. Turnier. “The quilt serves as a non-verbal form of expression, celebrating the lives of our stroke survivors. It is in the aftermath of having a stroke that patients start to think about what happened to them. The participation in this project and involvement in the support group has provided each stroke survivor and their family members with a forum for reconciliation, empowerment and an opportunity to create a new life.”

When stroke survivor Elaine Mielinis of Levittown was asked if there is life after stroke, she replied, “Oh yes, go out, see things and do it!” She said that being part of the stroke quilt project created close bond among survivors. “They always understand what I am saying,” she said.

Joan Moran of Commack, another stroke survivor who was present at the event, said, “After I had my stroke, I felt isolated. I needed to get out and meet people. The quilt project and the support group have allowed me to socialize and it helped me to change the perception I had of myself -- that despite some of the deficits of my stroke, I can still walk, talk and have a great life.”

The Stroke Quilt of Hope and Possibilities will undoubtedly serve as inspiration for those who have just experienced a stroke and give them hope that there is life after stroke.

The Stroke Club Support Group at NSUH, located at 300 Community Drive in Manhasset, NY, meets regularly every Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Apartment Building #304. For more information, please call 516-562-1194.