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“I didn’t want to be a burden” Stroke patient on living with an invisible disorder



In August 2013 David Morrill found himself having sudden sensations of vertigo, but could not foresee the damage this would cause.

These feelings would transpire, leaving David with chronic dizziness and imbalance.

Doctors would later discover that the onset David had become overwhelmed by, was in fact caused by a debilitating stroke.

The stroke caused permanent damage to Morrill’s vestibular system.

Patients who suffer damage to their vestibular system can seem normal to those around them, but on the inside they struggle to maintain their balance, and in some cases, their sanity.

This left Morrill with feelings of depression and anger, after he lost his job due to how his stroke had affected him.

On life soon after his stroke David says: “When I first started having my vestibular disorder, I didn’t talk about my problems.

“I didn’t want to be a burden on people.”

Some vestibular patients can find it hard to share their conditions and seek support, due to the lack of understanding and awareness to what vestibular disorders are,

Morrill would find his voice again after he discovered the Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA), within which he found a community where he felt listened to and understood.

His experiences with the association have now led to Morrill spearheading the VeDA’s ambassador programme.

The programme encourages healthcare professionals and patients to raise awareness about vestibular disorders through their social networks.

David highlights the importance volunteering has had on his rehabilitation: “I found that helping other people through volunteering helped me move forward and heal.

“If I can help just one person understand their vestibular disorder, my mission is accomplished.”

The anger and depressive state that Morrill found himself in has now been channeled into more positive energy, helping David on his journey to help others.

“It helps me stay positive and gives me a sense of purpose, keeping my mind away from the dark places,” says Morrill.

Balance Awareness Week takes place between September 18-24.

Morrill is leading the efforts to raise awareness about vestibular disorders through VeDA’s Balance Awareness Week.

The goal of this campaign is to spread awareness and to help understand what balance-related vestibular conditions are.

It is hoped that the campaign will help vestibular conditions “visible,” in order to ensure rapid diagnosis and effective treatments for patients.

Due to the unfortunate circumstances that many balance disorders are incurable, faster and more accurate diagnosis is of vital essence.

This can help to imply effective coping strategies for the effected patient, which can greatly improve quality of life.