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Suzie grateful to be celebrating Stroke Week


When Aberdeen local Suzie Henry had a stroke at her daughter’s house in May last year, it had come with no warning signs.

The 42-year-old was fit and healthy and had none of the risk factors that usually accompany the condition.

It was only the quick-thinking actions of her husband Steven that possibly saved her life.

Steven knew the signs of stroke and insisted she get to hospital immediately.  

“My stroke came as a complete surprise. I was in my 40s and I didn’t have any of the risk factors like high blood pressure or an unhealthy lifestyle,” Suzie said.

“I just felt incredibly tired all of a sudden and I was not able to talk.

“Steven noticed my face had drooped. He knew this as a sign of stroke and insisted we go to hospital straight away, even though I thought he was overreacting.

“As a result, I was taken by ambulance to a bigger hospital and received treatment to dissolve the blood clot in my brain within three hours of my stroke onset.”

The swift response from Steven and daughter Stephanie ensured the Upper Hunter mother received the time-critical medical treatment she needed to stop the stroke’s damage to her brain.  

Suzie is now joining a national campaign to celebrate her F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) heroes and urge others to be “stroke-hero” ready too.

This week is National Stroke Week (Monday 31 August to Sunday 6 September).

The Stroke Foundation is using the annual awareness day to encourage all Australians to learn and share the F.A.S.T. (Face. Arms. Speech. Time.) acronym.

Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:

Face : check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

Arms: can they lift both arms?

Speech: is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time: time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call Triple Zero (000) straight away

Stroke attacks the brain, the human control centre responsible for all we do, say and feel. One in four people globally will have a stroke in their lifetime. 

Stroke Foundation NSW State Manager, Rhian Paton-Kelly, applauded Steven for his quick thinking and Stephanie for her support. 

“We know the faster a stroke patient receives medical treatment, the better their chance is of survival and successful rehabilitation,” Ms Paton-Kelly said.  

“Steven should be proud he was the catalyst for the successful treatment that followed.  

“Sadly, others are not so fortunate. Only 32% of people with stroke in NSW reach hospital within the critical 4.5-hour window for treatment.

“This is why it is so important to spread the F.A.S.T. message to family, friends and colleagues. It could save a life.” 

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