A few weeks ago a colleague of mine was telling me about how remembering the FAST symptoms of a stroke he had been able to get his Mum to the hospital and his speedy response had saved her from significant disability. She is still recovering and having physio and rehabilitation but it could have been much worse had he not acted so quickly.
Know the signs
FACIAL weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
ARM weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
SPEECH problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
TIME to call 999.
You might have seen that advert on television. It is also important to not ignore any temporary signs as this could be a TIA (Transient ischaemic attack) which is a mini stroke and can lead to a major stroke.
Every year around 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. Whilst I have seen that advert and also seen awareness posters around doctors surgeries and hospitals I have to say that when I was told about my colleague’s Mum I had forgotten all of this information. Now that I’ve written it down it is firmly in my memory so that I can react quickly should I need to.
For more information see The Stroke Association website. There are lots of ways of fundraising, lots of advice and even an online community where you can share your stories with others.
Just remember the FAST test and stay calm.