Thank you to Medtronic for sponsoring this post. Medtronic works hard to bring effective stroke treatments to patients who need it most, and I’m really glad to see they are also proactively trying to get the word out about this silent killer.
Sunday, October 29th happens to World Stroke Day and as someone whose seen first hand what a stroke can do to a family member, I wanted to share the importance of stroke signs with you all encase you have been in a situation, or know of someone also dealing with this.
According to the World Health Organization, 17 million people suffer strokes worldwide each year. Of these, 6 million die and another 5 million are permanently disabled. My grandfather was one of those individuals. I remember my family and I were on a trip for Spring Break when I was in middle school. My Mom received a phone call during our time in California that her Dad had a stroke. She immediately cut our trip short and flew herself to New York to be with him.
As a result of having a large stroke, he did suffer some permanent difficulties. He attended physical and speech therapy to work on pronouncing simple words as well as attempting to regain some momentum in his left leg and arm. For the last few years before he passed away in 2010, he used a cane to help him balance. While the left side of his face never recovered, his speech did slowly start to improve.
Despite having been a victim of a stroke, my Grandfather always had a positive attitude on life. He never let his disability affect him and still did everything he loved; swimming, traveling the world and being with his family. Sharing simple signs of what to look for when having a stroke is key to knowing that this truly is what this individual may be having. These signs are
1. Slurred Speech
3. Numbness or weakness on one side of your face, arms or legs
4. Trouble seeing in both or one eye
As part of it’s ongoing partnership to raise gloabl awareness of stroke and the impact it has not just on the individual itself but their family members, Medtronic and the World Stroke Organization (WSO) are encouraging people to take 2 minutes to learn about the signs of stroke and then 2 people about those signs as part of their “Take 2..Tell 2” campaign. For example, the speed at which someone can receive medical attention during a stroke is critical to the opportunity for complete recovery and this campaign, is designed to demonstrate the impact of 2 minutes in saving a life.
Although strokes can be a very scary situation, being aware of those signs to help an individual who may be having a stroke is not only serious, but vital. Had it not been for my step-grandma to know the signs of a stroke and immediately calling 911 the day my Grandfather had his, perhaps his injuries would have been even more determinant then what he had already suffered. Please take 2 minutes to learn the signs and how you can help and please make sure to share these signs as well to keep the awareness going. You never know who could you be helping to save. Someone’s friend, mother, husband, co-worker and family member. You have the power to help.