Get educated on strokes

To the Editor

This year World Stroke Day is being celebrated on Oct. 29. The theme is “Face the Facts: Stroke is Treatable.” The key objectives are:

To raise awareness of the incidence of stroke world-wide and the fact that stroke is treatable.

To highlight the importance of improved outcomes from access to best-practice evidence-based treatments:

Knowing the FAST signs of stroke and getting treatment saves lives and improves recovery.

Promoting admission to stroke units.

Highlighting conditions for best-practice treatments such as clot-busting drugs and mechanical clot retrieval.

Acknowledging that rehabilitation is a critical step in the treatment process.

Highlighting secondary prevention treatments and lifestyle changes.

To encourage everyone to take action to drive awareness and push for better access to stroke treatments.

Advocacy action can occur at all levels including individual health care professional governments and decision maker.

Thirty years ago my mother suffered a stroke at age 78. She was put into a city hospital bed fed and left in that bed until she died months later never uttering another word. In 2005 my late husband Ross suffered a stroke. He went from Minden emergency to Peterborough for an MRI and stayed for a week with treatment and rehab. He was then transferred to Lindsay for daily rehab. From bedridden to a wheelchair he progressed to a walker and came home for further rehab at home finally using only a cane. A year later he suffered a second stroke and resumed rehab at the Minden hospital. Times have changed in dealing with stroke sufferers. The Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery is a collaboration of doctors across Canada and the world sharing their research into recovery. The World Stroke Organization is working to share information worldwide as stroke devastates around the world with 17 million strokes 6.5 million deaths and 26 million survivors. In Canada stroke is the leading cause of adult disability.

The Haliburton Highlands Stroke Support Group was formed in 2007 to share stroke information education and fellowship with survivors and caregivers. We are a chapter of March of Dimes Canada with a peer support coordinator. We are celebrating World Stroke Day with our Stroke Recovery Canada flag raising at the Minden municipal office on Friday Oct. 28 at 10 a.m.  Watch for our posters in storefronts and public buildings. Stop and read the information. It could be lifesaving. Stroke is a “brain attack.” Time is critical! Stroke is treatable!

Lois Rigney

Chair: Haliburton Highlands

Stroke Support Group