Rye stroke survivor urges people to think FAST to save more lives

Stroke survivor Frank Nunneley and his wife, Julia SUS-180702-094613001

Stroke survivor Frank Nunneley, 72, from Rye, is urging people across the South East to be aware of the warning signs of stroke, and share the FAST message to help save more lives.

In August 2017, Frank started to struggle to type on his computer. Thinking he was tired, Frank decided to leave the computer and read the newspaper. When Frank started to struggle to turn the newspaper page, he knew something definitely wasn’t right. Frank tried to say something to his wife, Julia, but had great difficulty in getting the words out. Julia recognised Frank had a problem and immediately took him to the doctor, who called the ambulance straightaway.

Frank said: “Julia thought it could be stroke and thankfully she was really quick to act. I can’t really remember what I was thinking, but the adverts on TV always show someone with their face dropped on one side, or unable to lift their arm. I really want people to know the FAST test, but also to realise that you don’t need to have all the symptoms. In my case, it was my hand and speech but I don’t like to think what might have happened if Julia hadn’t taken me to the doctor.

“What’s more, it can happen to anybody of any age, the more you know about the whole range of symptoms that might mean you’re having a stroke, the more likely you are to survive.”

The Stroke Association is raising awareness of the signs of stroke, calling on people to learn the symptoms, and call 999 as soon as they spot them.

The FAST test helps people recognise the most common symptoms of a stroke and the right action to take:

· Face: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

· Arms: Can the person raise both arms?

· Speech: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

· Time to call 999

Tara Galloway, head of Stroke Support for the Stroke Association, said: “Stroke can happen to anyone at any age, at any time, and when it strikes, every second counts.

“We want more people like Julia to learn the FAST test and share it with their friends and family. Knowing how to spot the warning signs of a stroke could save a life.”

To find out more about the FAST test, and the Stroke Association’s work to raise awareness of the warning signs of stroke, visit www.stroke.org.uk/FAST.

•See page 13 for report and reaction to cuts in funding for the Stroke Association.

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