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"I thought stroke was something that happened to older people."

Jayson was 35 when he suffered a stroke. He lost his independence and relied on his family to do the simplest of things. Here he explains how quitting changed his life.

I had to rely on my family, my wife and kids.

For six months, Jayson wasn’t able to feed himself, put on his clothes or even go to the bathroom without help.

At just 35, Jayson never thought he’d have to worry about his health, until he had a stroke.

“I always thought stroke was something that happened to older people, not young people like me.”

It took more than one long and painful year of recovery for Jayson to regain his independence. Basic things such as being able to walk to the bathroom became a chore.

“I had to rely on my family, my wife and kids and that was hard after being so independent,” Jayson said.

10 years later, Jayson regrets smoking, which doubles the risk of stroke.

“I was a heavy smoker. I used to smoke 50 cigarettes a day. Sometimes I’d wake up in the middle of the night to have a cigarette.

“I never thought about stroke, I never thought about how smoking would affect me until I had a stroke,” he said.

Jayson tries to see the positives though, like the financial benefits he’s been able to reap after quitting smoking.

“I’ve been able to go on holidays with my family. I bought a new car...

...I would have never been able to afford any of these things if I hadn’t stopped smoking,” Jayson says.

As part of a new campaign from Quit Victoria and StrokeFoundation, Jayson is here to tell people to quit smoking before it destroys their health.

“My family is so much happier now that I’ve quit smoking. There’s no more nagging, no more me leaving the dinner table for just one more cigarette.  “If I can quit, you can quit. Do it for your health. You won’t regret it.”

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