As family and some friends will know, The Stroke Association is a charity close to my heart. In 1997, my granddad suffered a stroke and it changed all of our lives. Thankfully he survived but the effects have stayed with him since. In the past I’ve done events to raise money for The Stroke Association, but today, I want to raise a bit of awareness and help out TSA’s FAST Forward campaign.
Let’s start with the basics.
What’s a stroke?
Put simply, a stroke is a ‘brain attack.’
It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. It can be caused by a blockage in one of the blood vessels leading to the brain or a bleed in the brain.
Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain. Without blood your brain cells can be damaged or destroyed.Strokes affect people in different ways, depending on the part of the brain that is affected, how widespread the damage is and how healthy the person was before the stroke. A stroke can affect the way your body functions as well as your thought processes and how you feel and communicate. (source)
Just remember, FAST:Being able to identify someone’s ‘funny turn’ as a stroke may not only save their life but help aid them in recovering quicker. Getting a stroke victim the proper medical attention they need as fast as possible is absolutely crucial.
Did you know…
…that there’s such a thing as a mini-stroke? Also known as TIA (transient ischaemic attack), mini-strokes have the same signs and symptoms as above–only they last for a shorter amount of time. This does not make them any less dangerous and mini-strokes can be signs of a larger stroke to come. 1 in 12 people who have had a mini-stroke have had another stroke within a week. TIA strokes are also known as ‘warning strokes.’
Other symptoms of a mini-stroke include:
- sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
- sudden weakness or numbness on one side of your body (including in your leg)
- sudden memory loss or confusion
- sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other symptoms.
For more information on mini-strokes, be sure to check out TSA’s fact sheet here.
Finally, I think this video says it all:
If you’re interested in learning more about strokes or how you can help, check out The Stroke Association online. Their website offers valuable, life-saving information as well as support for those who have had a stroke as well as for carers and family members. For those of you based in the US, you’ll want to check out the American Stroke Association.
If you’re interested in getting in touch, tweet me at @stephanie_khani or email me at emailthelondondiaries [at] gmail.com!