As a successful influencer and entrepreneur, Tamara Schenk lived life in the fast lane. Until a stroke suddenly slowed it down.
For many years, Tamara Schenk (33) worked worldwide in a wide variety of areas – from sales and research to consulting. Eventually, she switched to consulting and, as a strategic advisor, helped companies to better position themselves in the digital age. As an influencer, motivator and mentor, she also shared her experiences on social networks. But her life was turned upside down from one moment to the next: At the age of 32, the Berliner suffered a stroke.
At lunch in South Africa: Tamara Schenk reports on the day of the stroke
Six months after the fateful event, Tamara Schenk has fought back and now wants to motivate other affected people. The 33-year-old posts videos on Instagram that describe the “hardest half year” of her life and how she makes the best of the blow of fate.
The Berliner remembers the day her life took a sudden turn. On December 27, 2021, she was having lunch with friends in Cape Town when an artery burst in her head: “We were sitting at the table and I had a fork in my right hand. Then my hand suddenly fell off. But my head didn’t understood what was happening. My friends at the table were all like, ‘What’s that?'”
Emergency room in Cape Town: influencer Tamara Schenk was in a coma for four days
“According to my friends, I slowly fell to the side. My friends carried me from the restaurant to the car. Then my face slipped from me,” Tamara Schenk remembers the fateful day and continues: “From that moment on I remember I don’t remember what happened over the next four days. I was in the ER in a coma for four days.” When she was transferred again, she slowly began to realize what had happened: “I didn’t understand how quickly my life had changed. I couldn’t move my hand and right leg, they were completely paralyzed.”
Luck in disguise: Opportunity to learn again despite a major stroke
Just two days later the next shock: “Because my brain is swollen. And the question was whether the doctors would open their heads so that the pressure would be released. It’s dangerous because you can die from it,” said Tamara Schenk in her emotional video. “Unfortunately, the stroke was not small, not medium, but a big one. I was lucky in my misfortune. No paths were destroyed, which means I had the opportunity to learn to walk again, to speak – I was not understood at all. “
After a stroke: Tamara Schenk’s long rehabilitation journey
But the influencer did not let herself be defeated and fought – even if it was a very difficult path: “I had to learn to speak again, to walk, I was even partially blind.” It was only after a month in the hospital in South Africa that she was able to return to Hanover, where she immediately begins rehabilitation – working up to nine hours a day to regain her life. Especially her mother and her boyfriend were a great support during this time. Tamara Schenk advises all relatives of stroke victims to stay positive despite everything. “I didn’t doubt for a second that I could walk, that I would speak.”
Shit, but also nice: Tamara Schenk wants to encourage those affected
“As bad as the time was, so exhausting and so shitty, it was also beautiful. I made it beautiful for myself. It was difficult, but you have to see beauty in everyone, otherwise you’ll just go under,” advises Tamara Schenk and continues: “It was the hardest half year of my life, but not the unhappiest. It’s so absurd.”
Warrior: Tamara Schenk fights her way back to life after a stroke
Back in Berlin, she continues to fight, goes to physiotherapy, neuropsychology and language and writing training. Tamara’s message to everyone affected is clear: “Guys, you are stronger than you think. You can do more than you think. Don’t give up. […] It is so important not to wait and to follow your dreams. I’m a warrior, fought my way back last year because I had a stroke.”