I really admire the strong marketing that the National Stroke Foundation – Australia is involved in. It is only by making folk aware of strokes and how they can affect their lives, have we any chance of reducing this unbelievably high number of stroke sufferers.
I have recently been made an Ambassador for the Stroke Foundation and I will try my hardest to make people more aware. As a survivor of both a stroke and a brain tumour, I also want to share my story of recovery so that folk realise that there is ‘life after a stroke’.
Did you know that death from a stroke is more than those caused from breast and prostate cancer put together (then double it). In fact strokes have the 2nd highest number of deaths (heart attacks are number 1 for causing death). One in every six people will suffer from a stroke in their lifetime; in fact one person in every 6 will suffer from a stroke.
There are two main types of strokes; either from a bleed of a burst blood vesselin the brain or from a clot forming in an artery. Mine was formed by a clot. You can also have a mini stroke, which often does not last for longer than a couple of hours, but all forms of stroke need quick medical treatment; in fact you have a maximum of 4.5 hours to get medical assistance.
Strokes are not just for the elderly (though the chances do increase) – many young teenagers and children suffer from a stroke. Be warned – if you are over45you should have a heart and stroke assessment by your doctor. If your risk factor is high, then by changing your lifestyle, you may save yourself from suffering a stroke.
Know, that when part of the brain is damaged, it cannot be repaired. What you have to do is train the brain to find a new pathway to do the things that you may no longer be able to do after a stroke.
My husband, Peter (who is my official carer) accompanies me to all of my speaking engagements to assist with the AV equipment and to occasionally help me with a word I may not be able to recall. I was therefore delighted when the Stroke Foundation recognised the importance of the part he plays in helping me to spread the word, by making him an Ambassador as well.
Hints and Tips
It is much easier to prevent a stroke than it is to overcome the disabilities that will occur if you suffer from a stroke. Know what the risk factors are and see your doctor to assess the risk you might face.