Written by Barbara Gabogrecan, stroke victim
Today is World Stroke Day and the Stroke Foundation of Australia is asking us all to write to our Federal MP asking for the Federal Government to fund the National Action Plan for Stroke. You would probably be aware of the great TV ads that the Stroke Foundation ran, telling people how to recognise symptons of a stroke that a loved one may be experiencing.
It is called FAST
F – Face – is it drooped?
A – Arm, can they lift both of them?
S – Speech is it slurred. Do they understand what you are saying?
T – Time is critical – call OOO
You can read more about FAST on this website. My husband rang OOO because I did not understand what he was saying to me, so the FAST campaign certainly worked for us.
Almost 12,000 Australians who suffer a stroke each year cannot access basic stroke care. And people of all ages can suffer from a stroke. Young Adam had a stroke while still in the womb. Amazingly, his mother thought that was the problem, but the doctor said ‘That couldn’t happen to such a young child”…he was wrong. Everyone, including doctors, need to be more aware that anyone at all can suffer from a stroke.
What is particularly strange is that often, the person having the stroke does not realise what is happening because they still feel normal. A friend of mine got up during the night to go to the toilet and wondered why he could not open the bathroom door. He called his wife and she realised that his arm was paralised. He had had a stroke.
In my case, I was suffering from severe pain in the head and it turned out that was from the brain tumour (which I did not know I had); however, at the same time I had a stroke (the two were not connected at all). It was only because I did not understand what my husband was asking me that he recognised this as a system of a stroke – but I was only aware of the pain. Even when I could not answer the questions the doctor was asking me, I still did not feel as though anything was wrong! You can read more about exactly what happened to me.
There is a case of a young lady reporter on live TV who has a stroke and is not aware of what is happening. It is just unbelievable when you view what happened to her.
I know that the Stroke Foundation is there to help me and others suffering from a stroke, so I am prepared to help them too. Can you help? If you live in Australia and decide to write to your local federal member, you can find the contact details on our website by clicking here. The page also has tips on what to include in your letter.
Tips and Hints
Be aware of FAST if you are concerned about a loved one’s health. Write a letter to your Federal MP and ask for the government to fund the National Action Plan for Stroke. Visit the website of the Stroke Foundation of Australia.