February 17, 2020

From Patient to Broadmeadows Hospital Volunteer

Michael Fedyshyn has been a volunteer at Northern Health for six years, but has been a patient of Northern Health for over 15 years.

Michael credits his experience as a patient for his journey to becoming a volunteer.

In 2004, Michael suffered a blood clot in the brain and a stroke. The stroke meant Michael had to start again and learn how to speak and walk – something a lot of us take for granted – we never expect to have to learn these skills again later in life.

Through the support of his doctors at Northern Health, Michael’s outlook on life changed. He realised he was better off seeing the bright side of life, to be positive, active and happy. It was thanks to this new found attitude that Michael was able to return back to work, improve his speaking ability, obtain his driving licence and continue to improve his life. Michael was later diagnosed with epilepsy, leading to multiple stays at Northern Hospital over the next few years.

Once Michael retired from work, he wanted to remain active and productive, and it was then that he realised he could help others in similar situations to himself. He became a volunteer at Northern Health and has now clocked up six years of service.

Michael has volunteered at Craigieburn Centre, Bundoora Centre, Northern Centre for Health Education & Research (NCHER) and Broadmeadows Hospital.

The volunteering role Michael finds most rewarding is at the Rehabilitation Department of Broadmeadows Hospital. It is here where Michael is able to speak to patients like him, who have also had to deal with the after effects of having a stroke. His experience is invaluable as he is able to empathise with exactly what they are feeling and is able to show them how, with a positive and determined outlook, they too can get their lives back on track – for he is a living example of what can be achieved.

Michael had this to say about his time volunteering – “I became a volunteer to help patients as much as I can, to help start their lives again. There have been times where I have been in the hospital, at the shopping centre or even on the street, where I have had patients come up to me to thank me for helping them walk and talk again and to continue on prospering with their lives. I’m so happy that I have been able to help so many people and I will always continue to do so.”

Featured Image: Engagement Advisor, Monica Polimeni and Volunteer, Michael Fedyshyn