Aussie swimming medal hope reveals why she’s GRATEFUL that a double stroke left her brain damaged aged just six: ‘I love the way my life has unfolded’

  • Jasmine Greenwood suffered brain damage from strokes
  • Champion Aussie swimmer had to relearn how to walk
  • Now hopes to excel at the Paris Paralympics

Jasmine Greenwood survived a bizarre double stroke as a child that left her brain damaged, but the Aussie swimming medal hope says she is grateful for her ‘amazing life’.

Greenwood’s life was turned upside down as a six-year-old when she suffered a double stroke caused by appendicitis. 

She spent weeks in intensive care and was afterwards left with an acute brain injury and was lucky to be alive.

The youngster from Sussex Inlet on the NSW south coast had to relearn how to walk, how to get dressed and perform other day-to-day tasks.

Swimming star Jasmine Greenwood survived a double stroke that left her brain damaged

Greenwood is now loving her life as a Paralympic swimmer

Greenwood is now loving her life as a Paralympic swimmer 

‘It was obviously really hard and it’s changed the course of my life completely,’ the now 19-year-old told Wide World of Sports.

‘I was completely able-bodied before that, I was a completely normal, healthy child, and all it took was a small illness to take that away from me really quickly, and I nearly lost my life.

‘But in saying that, I love the way that my life has unfolded so far and I’m really grateful for what’s happened and the experiences I’ve been able to have.’

Greenwood doesn’t remember much about the incident that changed her life, but part of her rehabilitation was swimming.

She had never liked the sport much previously as a kid, but she soon got better at it and in 2021 made it to the Tokyo Paralympics, where she won a silver medal.

Despite her amazing recovery, the left side of Greenwood’s body will always be weaker than the right side and she suffers with some other complications.

‘Some people die of a stroke, some people are in a wheelchair for the rest of their life, some people can’t talk, can’t eat, can’t be independent,’ she says.

‘So I try not to be too sad about my situation and I try to be really grateful.

Greenwood, who will be swimming in Paris, says she has an amazing life

Greenwood, who will be swimming in Paris, says she has an amazing life

‘I have such an amazing life now despite what’s happened.’

With just 100 days until the opening of the Paris Paralympics, Greenwood is looking forward to competing and is every chance to snag more medals. 

‘I won my first international medal at 14 and I didn’t really take it all in at the time, didn’t realise how big an achievement that was, so I think whatever happens from here on, I should be proud of what I’ve already done and the effort I continue to put in,’ she said.

‘What motivates me every day is I think I can always be better.

‘It’s also inspiring to know that I might be inspiring other people.’