A stroke patient has told of her journey from being bedridden in Sydney to walking home in an emotional NAIDOC Week ceremony at Orange Health Service on Friday.
Lurlrne Langlo suffered a stroke in May, after which she couldn't move the left side of her body and couldn't talk, or even breathe without a tracheal tube.
She was due to address the 50-strong crowd, but after being overcome with emotion Sandra Wicks read from her speech with Ms Langlo's doctor and nurses by her side.
I am proud to show my son and the ICU nurses I can walk again.Lurlrne Langlo
"I was really scared [after the stroke] but my family were there," she said.
Ms Langlo's speech covered her coming to the rehabilitation ward in Orange in July and making small steps - figuratively and literally - on her road to recovery.
"Two weeks in I was told there hadn't been much improvement and I would probably end up in a nursing home because my care needs were too high and my family couldn't look after me," Mrs Wicks read.
"I was so upset. I knew I had to get better for my son and the only way to get better was working with the physios."
She ramped up her recovery, moving from standing with the help of two nurses to being in a walking harness on a treadmill.
"It took a lot of effort but each day I could walk a bit further," Mrs Wicks read.
"After this I could hold on to the parallel bars myself and everyone was so excited.
"I am proud to show my son and the ICU nurses I can walk again."
She said while her left arm's mobility hadn't improved, she's learned to get dressed, brush her hair and teeth, eat and drink and use her phone independently.
"Thank you to everyone celebrating NAIDOC Week this week and to everyone who's helped me on my journey," Mrs Wicks read with Ms Langlo surrounded by rehabilitation doctors and nurses.
Orange Health Service general manager Catherine Nowlan said it was important for the medical field to recognise Indigenous Australians.
"We are in a very privileged position in health where we get to help people at their most vulnerable and to be able to help people improve their health," she said.
"It is a privilege to work in health care and on behalf of the whole health service team to acknowledge we are responsible for improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples."
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...