A fall after his second stroke in 2016 left Mr Eric Erh, 71, wheelchair-bound for eight months.
But after undergoing a two-month physiotherapist-led fitness programme at the Stroke Support Station's (S3) Wellness Centre at the Enabling Village in Bukit Merah, he was able to walk without a mobility aid.
"Stroke has no borders, and it can come any time to anybody. Programmes like these are important - if I didn't go to S3, my recovery would have been a lot more difficult," said the retiree.
The charity organisation will be expanding its services across the island to provide more support for stroke survivors and their caregivers, it announced at a charity dinner yesterday.
Speaking at the event at Shangri-La Hotel, President Halimah Yacob noted that Singapore sees about 8,000 cases of stroke a year and as the population ages, the number is likely to increase.
As a result of public education campaigns that have increased awareness of stroke symptoms, which include facial drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulties, there has been an increase in the number of patients heading to the hospital early enough for time-sensitive stroke treatments, she said.
"I am also glad that S3 plans to expand and increase the number of wellness centres across Singapore, to spread affordable and accessible services to more residents in the heartland," said Madam Halimah.
VITAL FOR RECOVERY
Stroke has no borders, and it can come any time to anybody. Programmes like these are important - if I didn't go to S3, my recovery would have been a lot more difficult.
MR ERIC ERH, who underwent a two-month physiotherapist-led fitness programme at the Stroke Support Station's Wellness Centre in Bukit Merah.
S3, a volunteer-led outfit, was set up in 2016 and relies on donations to subsidise its programmes, which are supported by medical professionals and therapists from the National University Health System as well as other hospitals.
The Wellness Centre at the Enabling Village, which opened in 2016, offers post-stroke recovery programmes that have proven effective in helping survivors improve their mobility and fitness, the charity said.
A second centre targeted to reach 1,000 stroke survivors and 600 caregivers a year will be opened in the west in 2019.
Three more will be built in the north, east and central areas by 2022 if the fund-raising goal of about $2 million is met.
There are also plans for six Wellness Stations, which provide stroke survivors and caregivers with information and counselling. They will be rolled out across various hospitals by 2020.
This is in addition to two existing ones at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and NUH Ward@Senja.