Spreading awareness


“I was confused, I remembered the officer grabbing me and yelling to the others ‘I think this is our patient’ - I remember feeling strange, like an out-of body feeling.”

These are the words of stroke survivor Emma, who shared her story on the Stroke Foundation charity’s website.

Emma was 29 years old when she noticed her vision had become blurry as she was watching TV, then her hand started to feel strange. Not long after that she was whisked off in an ambulance, and woke up later not being able to use her arm, and her speech sounded different - she was scared.

She was diagnosed as having a stroke after a blood clot had gone the wrong way into her brain from her heart. The outlook was unknown in whether she would be able to use her arm like she had before, but after much rehabilitation and encouragement from her family, she managed to ‘pretty much’ get the use of it back.

National Stroke Week has been observed annually nationwide, and promotes stroke awareness strategies, and is also a chance for charities like the Stoke Foundation to raise funds.

One message they never get tired of spruiking is one that can help save lives. When you notice these symptoms in someone, your speedy steps could mean the difference between recovery, or otherwise.

In recognising a stroke, there are four quick actions to do, with a catchy acronym to help us remember them: F.A.S.T.
Face: Has their FACE dropped?
Arms: Can they lift both ARMS?
Speech: Is their SPEECH slurred, and do they understand you?
Time: TIME is critical - call 000.

Cardiovascular researcher Professor Dominique Cadilhac said over the last 20 years, research in stroke has been transformational.

“Not only do we now have more treatments to offer patients, but the evidence gaps are closing with so many researchers from different disciplines focused on this field, and passionate about making a difference,” she said in a Stroke Foundation research report.

More than 80 per cent of strokes can be prevented, and ways to combat it can include the simplest of lifestyle changes, according to the charity.

1. Make time for medical visits to check up on how things are going in your body: like simple blood pressure, and cholesterol tests

2. Take ownership of your health: eat better, stay active and quit smoking

For more information on prevention check
out: https://strokefoundation.org.au/About-Stroke/Prevent-Stroke.

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