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FAST Facts about Strokes

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Since May is National Stroke Awareness month, I thought it would be good to share with you some of the initial symptoms that might help you recognize a stroke has either occurred, or that conditions are right for a stroke to happen. As I learned in my own experience, it helps to be able to act quickly.

On behalf of the American Heart Association, a few years ago, Brenda and I filmed a PSA where we talked about the ways you can recognize an oncoming stroke. We used the acronym FAST to help you be better informed that a stroke may be in progress.

The FAST facts are these:

The F stands for facial expressions. If you notice that any distortion or change is happening in facial features, a stroke may be in progress. Ask the person to smile and check to see if their smile is drooping or uneven.

The A stands for arms. The person may experience a weakness or numbness in their arms. Ask them to raise their arms over their heads, or simply raise both arms up and see if they are able to do so.

The S stands for speech. Is the person having difficulty speaking so you can understand the words? Ask them to repeat a simple sentence, such as “The sky is blue.”

The T stands for time. If the person shows any of the above symptoms, then it’s time to call 9ll. Don’t call your mother or your spouse or someone else first. Call 911 and get to the hospital.

These are the FAST facts and here is a bit more information to know:

– African Americans ages 20 to 44 are 2.4 times more likely to suffer a stroke than Caucasian Americans
– Over 800,000 people suffer from strokes each year and every forty seconds someone is hit with a stroke
– A stroke is the Number One cause of adult disability and the number five cause of death in the United States
– Nearly 25% of strokes happen to people under age 65
– 80% of strokes can have less significant effects if you act FAST
– Monitor your blood pressure

It’s National Stroke Awareness month, and it happens that May 12th is the anniversary of my own strokes thirteen years ago. I’m happy to be here to share what I’ve learned. God has been good to me and I pray that He will be good to you, should you or someone you love suffer from a stroke.

May God bless you and keep you in faith and good health.

We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

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