Stroke of Luck
Paul Fink is lucky to be alive. His family was nearly torn apart when - aged just 34, he suffered a massive stroke.
A marathon runner, health conscious, and super fit man, Paul showed none of the warning signs of someone likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury. But with a new dream job working at AFL house, a new baby boy and a brand new house, everything came crumbling down.
He was in a coma for two weeks, endured four brain surgeries and his family were told numerous times that the outcome was extremely poor. However, against all odds he managed to wake up from his coma, only to find that the fight had just begun.
He stayed in hospital for six months, and spent a further 10 months attending full time outpatient rehabilitation. He worked hard to be independent and re-learn things that his brain was unable to do - including how to walk, talk, read, write, bathe, swim, drive, in addition to combating symptoms of anxiousness, epilepsy, vision issues and fatigue.
Five years on and Paul is making the most of his new lease on life. He started a blog for other stroke survivors, he had a second child, he climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is volunteering at the Stroke Foundation and learning to run. Paul considers this his stroke of luck. A second chance to make a difference. He is now committed to sharing his story, inspiring others while raising awareness of strokes particularly in younger people.
Paul’s tale is one of resilience, gratitude, positivity, beating the odds and finding the silver lining when life deals you what seems to be an unwinnable hand.
Paul was an IT Project Manager by trade. He is 40 years old and lives in Melbourne with his wife and two young sons.
Paul is available for public speaking. If you’d like to know more or book Paul to inspire your team, send an enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0412 662 721
"We were fortunate to have Paul Fink speak to our staff last year. Paul's story of resilience, courage and strength was captivating and felt by all staff. His resilience and positivity reminded our staff of the importance of making the most of life and to never give up in the face of adversity. Our staff left feeling truly inspired by Paul's courageous and remarkable journey and what he has been able to achieve since. Thank you Paul for taking the time to speak to our staff and sharing your story."
Davina Onas, General Manager, Business Strategy and HR at KCL Law
“You could hear a pin drop during Paul’s talk. Everyone mesmerized by his story and in awe of the huge challenges and obstacles he has managed to overcome. His words brought much inspiration to me and the entire audience, challenging each of us to break free from our own attitudinal limitations and to believe in ourselves to achieve greater heights!”
Daniel Rabin, Rabbi at South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation
"When Paul shared his story with the team at Link Financial Services, he left us all in awe. To be dealt such a cruel blow in his prime and yet to come out the other side with such courage, resilience and strength is remarkable and inspiring. He is proof that there is life after a stroke, just a different one to the one you were leading before. A very inspirational man whose strength and determination gives us courage to overcome the odds.'
Ben Kohn, Director at Link Financial Services
EY’s future leaders have been deeply impacted by Paul’s story, some still referring to it months later. Paul speaks with humour, honesty and humility about his journey through his stroke and recovery. The audience warms to him immediately and are inspired by his courage, grit and knack for doing the impossible.
Lara Eretz - Senior Manager at EY
"Paul, your keynote address to the team at Cooper Investors spoke to the heart, bought tears to the eyes and reminded everybody we have much to be grateful for! You have made the most of every moment, never given up and are a wonderful role model to your sons. You will go a long way to find a more humble and inspirational man than Paul Fink. Keep up the great work Paul.'
Peter Cooper - CIO & Founder at Cooper Investors
"Students were inspired by Pauls’ strength, courage and determination. He challenge their perceptions of what it means to live beyond a stroke and gave them valuable insights into how important a positive mindset can be."
Daniella Warren - Learning Area Leader for Learning Journeys at Caulfield Grammar School
"Paul’s ‘never give up’ attitude and finding the silver lining when life deals you what seems to be an unwinnable hand is remarkable, his resilience, extraordinary. And his passion for wanting to give back where he can, and make the most of each opportunity resonated with many. Paul’s story is one not to be missed. His overwhelming standing ovation received was testament to this."
Brian Swersky - President, Maccabi Victoria
"Paul's story was truly inspirational, and he told it in a way that had the room sitting in awe. A typically raucous crowd was brought to silence -- you could hear a pin drop, as the team heard how Paul faced challenges that none of us would ever wish to face. Paul's story is one of resilience, perseverance, and love of family and community. Hearing his story is a fantastic way to bring a team to reflect on what is truly important in life, and a clear demonstration of how to face life's challenges with grace and positivity of attitude."
David Shafer - Executive Director at Kogan
"We were fortunate to have Paul Fink to come along and talk about his personal journey from fighting the stroke and conquering the challenges that he had to face. Our members and guests walked away feeling inspired and were reminded that when you face the worse possible scenario you just got to keep fighting and take it on with one step at a time...."
Gabrielle Parr - President at Rotary Club of Melbourne Park