Narratives of Stroke Survivors: Between Trauma and Redemption

Orly Turgeman Goldschmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study’s aim was to explore how stroke survivors cope with their stroke and its consequences. While the concept of chronic illness dominates the stroke -recovery literature, for some, their stroke is part of an ongoing life story. Bury conceptualized chronic illness as a major disruptive experience, specifically for rheumatoid arthritis patients. The interviews in this article focused on how individuals reconstructed their lives post-injury/stroke. This article seeks to investigate whether stroke survivors also construct their stroke as a biographic disruption. Open-ended interviews were conducted with 33 stroke survivors. It was found that stroke survivors choose hope more than they do grief, often contrary to their physician’s evaluation. Moreover, while the story of the onset was always sad, they chose to turn their backs on the victim role and being sick, and found ways to live with it. For them, it appears that the stroke is part of an ongoing life story more than it is a “biographical disruption.” Most of them were narratives of redemption, rather than contamination. My conclusion is that stroke survivors can choose how to construct a stroke’s onset as well as its consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-716
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number8
Early online date21 Feb 2022
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Disability
  • grief
  • hope
  • narrative
  • redemption
  • stroke


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