Bicton stroke survivor gears up for run from his house to Dunsborough

Bicton resident Rob Goyen will run from his house to Dunsborough to motivate stroke victims into taking the first step for recovery. Picture: Jon Hewson. d488119
Bicton resident Rob Goyen will run from his house to Dunsborough to motivate stroke victims into taking the first step for recovery. Picture: Jon Hewson. d488119

ROB Goyen is looking to inspire people to take the first step to recovery after a stroke, following his own frightening experience.

The Bicton resident will run 250km from his house to the picturesque South West coastal town of Dunsborough on November 21 to raise awareness but not money – to coincide with the Stroke Foundation’s Stride 4 Stroke Campaign.

It will be 10 years in January since Mr Goyen had a major stroke on his driveway at his home, an experience he described as frightening.

“I was pulling the wheelie bin up my driveway and it fell out of my hand and then I went pick it up and I couldn’t, he said.

“I got inside and I started thinking ‘it’s not good’ so I rang my wife and by the time I said the sentence, the phone fell out of my hand.

“She rang the ambulance and they got there within 20 minutes and the speed of it all saved my life.”

After weeks in hospital and rehab, he could not walk to the end of his driveway but after a year he was fit again.

“It was probably ahead of schedule for the average stroke victim but because I was fit, your body recovers a lot quicker,” he said.

“The body feels fine but it still plays with your mind, when something like that happens to you, to have that trust in your body again.

“What comes with having a stroke is the anxiety that you deal with everyday and learning to trust your body hence why I started running further and further to see if I could trust my body.

Mr Goyen said he hoped to inspire stroke victims to take the first step to recovery.

“There are so many stroke survivors sitting there not knowing what to do because as soon as you leave the hospital or rehab they go ‘see you later’ and that’s it,” he said.

Mr Goyen will run about 80km over three days to complete the challenge.

“I’ve got my wife, my mum and my dad plus my crew on the way, they will meet me at approximately every 10 to 20kms with nutrition, food and massage,” he said.

“Apart from the 10 years leading up, the past 10 months has been pretty solid, I’ve been doing 100 to 120kms per week and five weeks ago I did a 100km race in Victoria.

“I’m feeling good, driving down on the weekend to see where we are going to stop, it created a bit of apprehension because you don’t know how your body is going to react.

“The biggest thing is heat, it could be really hot but I’m excited to get it done but there is always apprehension.”