MORE women than men die from strokes every year.
New figures released by the Stroke Foundation found strokes are the fifth leading cause of death for women.
Working women between 45 and 64 are most at risk.
In 2013, the disease struck 29,913 Australian women, killing 6368.
Queens Park’s Venera Lombardo (75) was a full-time carer for her son when she first noticed something was wrong with her motor function.
It started when she had difficulty undoing her seatbelt latch, which led to her falling from a taxi on to the road.
“When I tried to get out of the car it felt like something was pulling my leg and I fell on the ground,” she said.
“The taxi driver left the car in the middle of the road and came and got me.”
A visit from a locum doctor raised the potential of a small stroke, but because Mrs Lombardo could still walk and talk she was given the all-clear.
Mrs Lombardo was diagnosed as having a stroke three days later on March 18 after two further falls at home.
An MRI revealed a bleed deep on the left side of her brain.
The stroke had left her immobile and unable to communicate. “I was so sick,” she said.
After 10 days, she moved to Bentley Hospital where she went through a long rehabilitation process that focused on mobility, memory and speech.
She was discharged to her daughter Caterina Magarelli’s care in April after the thought of going to a nursing home pushed her to regain as much bodily function as possible.
“I thought I would never go home again,” she said.
Mrs Magarelli and her husband Giuseppe have helped Mrs Lombardo to make significant improvement.
She is now able to talk and is regaining control over her right side.
“My daughter is the boss now,” Mrs Lombardo said.