Mission and Vision
NASAM’s Mission is to inform the public that there is Life After Stroke through proper rehabilitation and to promote the concept of stroke prevention.
NASAM’s objectives are to create awareness about these three important facts:
Risks of stroke can be reduced or prevented.
Early rehabilitation reduces long-term dependency.
There is life after stroke.
NASAM’s Vision is to serve stroke survivors throughout Malaysia, so that they may have ready access to rehabilitation facilities and services wherever they may be in the country.
It is NASAM’s intention to bridge the existing gap that fails to fully prepare stroke survivors adequately for rehabilitation after they have been treated in hospitals for their medical conditions and their return to their homes.
Our long-term goal is to set up a NASAM center in every major town in Malaysia.
There is a life after stroke
George See today is jovial, optimistic, and an inspiration to others. A far cry from who he was just a few years ago.
George suffered a stroke in 2010, when he was only 37 years old. He was working in the Philippines then, and had gone to a hospital because he was having chest pains.
There, the doctors discovered that he had a stroke and George was hospitalised for two months. Following the stroke, George lost his speech, hearing, and became paralysed on his right side. The former factory supervisor was devastated.
It was only through sheer determination and dedicated sessions at NASAM did George begin to make progress on his journey of healing and rehabilitation.
When he returned to Malaysia, George’s friend brought him to NASAM in Petaling Jaya. Confined to a wheelchair, George was full of anger and tended to lash out. It was only through sheer determination and dedicated sessions at NASAM did George begin to make progress on his journey of healing and rehabilitation.
Today, George still continues his regular physiotherapy, counselling, as well as sign language and art lessons. He is now able to walk again after two years, and has adapted well to his new lifestyle.
Through NASAM’s therapeutic art classes too, George discovered an artistic side to himself. He began drawing in 2012, as a way to calm himself down, and today sells his art pieces to earn himself a living.
Foong Yet Hoong calls NASAM his ‘second home’. And it is not hard to see why.
Yet Hoong suffered a stroke in 2002, at the age of 45. When that happened, he was left completely stunned. A former national bowler, he had refused to accept the fact that he had become helpless and dependent on others. “It was humiliating,” he confided.
At NASAM, the atmosphere is “warm and friendly. It is a place where strokees are treated with respect, compassion and understanding.”
But support from his family and friends, as well as personal effort and determination, helped Yet Hoong “fight off the demons of depression and despair”. He sought rehabilitation from NASAM soon after his stroke, and found a lot of support from other strokees there. At NASAM, the atmosphere is “warm and friendly. It is a place where strokees are treated with respect, compassion and understanding that every human being deserves a place where we are all equal in race, religion, and background.”
At NASAM, Yet Foong and other strokees would share information about what they have learned from their therapists, and encourage one another to persevere and never give up. There is a spirit of camaraderie. Yet Foong adds that one should never be too proud to admit that everyone needs one another.
Today, Yet Hoong runs his own bak kut teh restaurant in Subang Jaya. He believes that rehabilitation is a continual process, and makes sure that his priorities are to get better and live a life that is more relaxed and peaceful.
THE SPIRIT OF NASAM BY RUCHIRA GUPTA
a past volunteer at NASAM Ampang,
has beautifully encapsulated the Spirit of NASAM.
The spirit of NASAM is palpable as soon as you walk into any of their centres. Each centre embodies the spirit of its founder Janet Yeo – that There Is Life After Stroke.
You see it reflected in the faces of the regulars at NASAM. You see the new ones trying to embrace it with the encouragement from fellow stroke survivors and help from the staff – be they administrative staff or therapists at NASAM. Here you see rehabilitation in its true spirit. It is conducted in a non-threatening and nurturing environment.
NASAM is a living, breathing, growing and evolving organisation that keeps the stroke survivors central to its vision and SPIRIT. I was a volunteer physiotherapist at NASAM Ampang for 5 years. I learnt a lot about life and living besides stroke rehabilitation. I learnt the Never Say Die attitude from the stroke survivors. I learnt that there is more to life and living than just an arm and a leg that does not obey you.
I learnt that rehabilitation is not about an arm and a leg – it is about learning to celebrate and honour one’s life as best as one can. I learnt that there is much to celebrate especially after surviving an accident like stroke. I learnt that life is a celebration despite stroke.
I learnt that grit and determination could defy any medical prognosis that defines a window for recovery post stroke. I learnt that rehabilitation is an on-going journey and if one stays on the path you may surprise yourself by regaining a lost function. I learnt how malleable and resilient the human spirit is. I learnt that at the end of the day if you empower a stroke survivor and believe in them – they could outperform your and their own expectations.
I learnt that stroke is a leveller- it has little consideration for whether one is young or old, rich or poor. On this equal platform, stroke survivors at NASAM reach out to support each other. I learnt that each stroke survivor is a champion- victorious in overcoming the challenges and limitations post stroke as best as they can. I learnt to respect each stroke survivor for they taught me more than I did. I learnt lessons in courage and perseverance.
So if you ask me what is the spirit of NASAM – I say it is all of the above and much more.
Stroke does not just touch and change the lives of the stroke survivors only – it touches and changes the lives of all who come in contact with them – be it caregivers or therapists. It changes their lives for the BETTER.