The Stroke Association is calling for people across London to be more aware of the early warning signs of stroke, and to share the FAST message to help save more lives.
The FAST Test identifies the three most common symptoms of a stroke and the right action to take:
FACE: 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
Morgane Brun, 22, from Middlesex survived a stroke and is now spreading the word about recognising FAST Test symptoms.
Morgane was assaulted one evening in 2015. Her purse was taken and she was left very badly hurt. In the days following the assault, Morgane was very disorientated. She was struggling to speak, had weakness in one side of her body and her face dropped to one side.
Morgane was admitted to West Middlesex Hospital a week later with kidney failure and it was then that the doctors realised she had also had four strokes. Morgane was left unable to walk and had to undergo physiotherapy. She now experiences seizures regularly.
Morgane said: “Thankfully I’ve recovered from the strokes. I now have more awareness about just how important it is to act FAST. I’d tell anyone who thinks they may be having a stroke to act FAST and get help immediately.”
Michelle Dalmacio, Director for Life After Stroke Services in London at the Stroke Association, said: “Having a stroke is devastating. It can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time. Every second counts when you are having a stroke, so recognising the signs and calling 999 for an ambulance is crucial. A stroke is a medical emergency – as serious as a heart attack, so you need to seek immediate medical help. The quicker a person arrives at a specialist stroke unit, the quicker they will receive appropriate treatment to minimise the impact of their stroke.
“We want more people in London to learn the FAST test and share it with their friends and family to help others to save lives, and improve the chance of a better recovery for those who experience stroke.”
To find out more about the FAST campaign, and to view information and support available, visit www.stroke.org.uk/FAST.