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Make May Purple

Dr Andrew Wilson

Dr Andrew Wilson, clinical chair of NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Make May Purple is the Stroke Association’s fundraising and awareness campaign coinciding with national Stroke Awareness Month.

When a stroke strikes, part of your brain shuts down, and so does part of you. That’s because a stroke happens in the brain, which is the control centre for who we are and what we can do. But recovery, although tough, is more than possible with courage, determination and specialist support.

Here are some symptoms of a stroke:

·       Sudden weakness or numbness

·       Difficulty breathing

·       Sudden blurred vision

·       Sudden memory loss

·       Sudden severe headache.

An easy way to think about the signs is to think FAST:

  •  Face – can they smile?
  • Arms – are they able to raise both arms?
  • Speech – is it slurred?
  • Time – If you see any of the above, call 999

Who’s at risk? Anyone can have a stroke, and one in four strokes happens to someone of working age.

The main factors:

·       Medical conditions – High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation – an irregular heart rhythm that’s hard to detect and is a leading cause of stroke..

·       Lifestyle factors – If you smoke, drink and are overweight your chances increase

In other words, you can reduce your risk by not smoking; exercising until you’re slightly out of breath for at least 45 minutes three times a week; eating five portions of fruit or vegetables daily; and following the Government’s guidance on low-risk drinking.

Visit www.stroke.org.uk for help and advice or to make a donation.  Help Make May purple and rebuild lives!