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Press release -

Darren urges people in the South West to act FAST

02 February 2015

South West stroke survivor urges people to act FAST

The Stroke Association today launches a new initiative to help more people affected by stroke receive emergency medical treatment. The charity is calling for people across the South West to support the FAST Forward campaign by learning the signs of a stroke and sharing the message to help save more lives.

The FAST Test identifies the three most common symptoms of a stroke or mini-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

Darren Hall, 44, from Plymouth had a stroke in May 2011 and believes the FAST Test could have saved his life. Darren woke up with a massive headache in the early hours of the morning.He realised something was wrong when he went downstairs to get some tablets and noticed his face had drooped on one side.He managed to crawl upstairs and alert his wife.Luckily she noticed the signs of stroke from seeing the advert on tv.She called an ambulance as she knew it was some sort of stroke. Darren had no idea what was happening just knew something was drastically wrong.

Sarah Day, Area Manager for the Stroke Association in the South West said: “When it comes to stroke, time lost is brain lost.A stroke is caused by a blockage or a bleed in the brain, which cuts off the brain’s flow of oxygen and causes brain cells to die. So recognising the symptoms of stroke and calling 999 for an ambulance as quickly as possible is absolutely vital. Acting FAST can help reduce the devastating impact a stroke can have.

“We know that a tenth (11%) of people in the South West wrongly believe a stroke could never happen to them (i). Sadly this cruel condition can happen to anyone at any time. The more people who are FAST aware, the more lives we can save.”

To find out more about the FAST Forward campaign, and to view information and support available, visit


For further information, please contact Cheryl Randeria on 07810 697957.




A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.  

Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and together we can conquer stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at

Press contacts

Sokina Miah

Sokina Miah

Press contact Press Officer UK national media 0207 566 0337
Angela Macleod

Angela Macleod

Press contact Communications Officer Scotland and Wales 0131 555 7244
Joe Kenny

Joe Kenny

Press contact Press Officer Northern Ireland and Wales
Ken Scott

Ken Scott

Press contact Press Officer North of England 0115 778 8429
Martin Oxley

Martin Oxley

Press contact Press Officer South of England 0207 566 1548
Vicki Hall

Vicki Hall

Press contact PR Manager Fundraising and local services 0161 742 7478
Scott Weddell

Scott Weddell

Press contact PR Manager Policy and research 0207 566 1528
Out of hours contact

Out of hours contact

Press contact Media queries 07799 436008

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The UK's leading stroke charity helping people to rebuild their lives after stroke

The Stroke Association. We believe in life after stroke. That’s why we campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best possible recovery. It’s why we fund research to develop new treatments and ways to prevent stroke. The Stroke Association is a charity. We rely on your support to change lives and prevent stroke. Together we can conquer stroke.

Stroke Association
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