The first story spans nearly 35 years with her beloved husband Mark, the man who has been Sharon's rock from the day they met and who ultimately saved her life. The second story dates back to Valentine's Day 2013, the day Sharon met Western Health physiotherapist Angus Campbell, the man she credits with helping her to walk again.
In December 2012 Sharon suffered a stroke and was rushed to Footscray Hospital after a quick thinking Mark recognised the signs.
“Her speech was slurred, she couldn’t smile and she couldn’t lift both of her arms above her head,” Mark recalls.
“I’d seen the poster informing people of the warning signs of a stroke and I knew straight away what was going on.”
After driving Sharon to the Footscray Hospital Emergency Department, Mark rushed inside to seek help but by the time he and the medical staff got back to the car, Sharon was unresponsive.
With the help of a nearby ambulance officer, Sharon was pulled from the car and staff commenced CPR. Once stabilised, Sharon was taken into surgery where it was discovered that an ulcer the size of a golf ball - attached to her stomach and small bowel - had burst, causing her organs to shut down and a lack of blood supply to her brain.
The mother of two spent the following three weeks with a gastric feeding tube and tracheotomy to aid her breathing and was barely able to move.
During that time, she had three stints in ICU and two code blues called after she became unresponsive.
“She was in a very bad way,” Mark said. “It’s something you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy.”
“She couldn’t eat, she couldn’t sit up; she was basically comatose.”
Three weeks after Sharon was admitted to Footscray Hospital her gastric feeding tube and tracheotomy were removed and she was moved to a ward as she slowly started to show signs of improvement.
On Valentine’s Day 2013, Sharon was moved to the Rehab Ward at Sunshine Hospital to begin the long process of learning to walk again.
“My main goals when I arrived at Sunshine were to be able to take a few steps, to be able to feed myself, and to go to the toilet on my own,” Sharon said.
“And I was determined to achieve those goals. I can still remember the day I stood solo for the first time – it was the 18th of February 2013. It might not seem like a big deal to most, but to me it meant the world."
Sharon was discharged from hospital exactly 100 days after she suffered the stroke and continued with her rehabilitation in the community.
Just before Christmas 2016, Sharon finally started to walk again unaided.
Sharon recently paid an emotional visit to Sunshine Hospital to show Angus, that thanks to his unwavering support in the early stages of her rehab, she can now walk again.
“He is the reason I’m walking today,” Sharon said.
“If he hadn’t of opened that lock four years ago while I was laying in the bed at Sunshine (rehab) I would never have walked again.”
“The staff were fantastic and we go back in to see them whenever we can,’’ Sharon said. “It’s like going back home to your family.”
"Every day I wake up, I feel so lucky to be alive and it’s thanks to them.”
Sharon and Mark have shared their story to help raise vital funds to assist Western Health in providing the best care for the people of Melbourne's west.DONATE HEREThank you for your support.