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Nicola Bray (she/her)

Disability & Mental Health


Place of Birth: Adelaide, South Australia
Current location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Age: 22 years old
Language/s: English only
NDIS Participant: Yes
Diagnoses: Stroke, AVM, Anxiety, Autism, ADHD
Healthcare Access: Primary Health Care, Mental Health, Allied Health, Secondary and Tertiary care


Nicola Bray is an advocate for young stroke survivors and people with disabilities, from her own lived experience of having a stroke at 17 years of age. Nicola is studying a Bachelor of Media Arts and is passionate about film-making, having assisted on three films including a documentary. She is currently making her own documentary about what she has lived through. Nicola had a stroke due to an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) rupture when she was seventeen years old, only two weeks after after graduating from high school. Her parents found her having a seizure and called an ambulance. From there, she went through emergency surgery, the most extreme being part of her skull cut out to relieve pressure on her brain. Nicola spent two weeks in a coma from the surgery where she had a tracheostomy and was tube fed, developed delirium post-coma in ICU, and was moved to a ward the day before Christmas Eve. Nicola had to learn how to walk, talk and eat again. In late February 2019, she had her last surgery - putting the skull back in. Over the year, she was able to start walking without aid and strengthening her arms and legs. However, to this day, her right arm is unresponsive.

Nicola's experiences have made her enthusiastic and passionate to share her story in the hopes it will resonate with other survivors of brain injury as well as educate the future health professionals on strokes in young people. 


  • Written for Women with Disabilities Australia

  • Studying Bachelor of Media Arts

  • Assisted on 3 films

  • Currently making her own documentary

  • Spoke at a support group for Brain Injury SA

  • Video interview with Stroke SA


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