Become a StrokeSafe speaker and help save a life

Stroke Foundation is seeking StrokeSafe speakers in Coffs Harbour to help raise awareness of the F.A.S.T. (Face. Arms. Speech. Time.) signs of stroke.

New South Wales resident Bob Carnaby, 73, is a StrokeSafe speaker. StrokeSafe speakers present talks to workplaces and community groups, sharing potentially life-saving information about how to recognise and prevent stroke.

Bob said he wanted to do all he could to help others avoid stroke by encouraging them to understand their risk factors and make healthy lifestyle choices.

“I became a StrokeSafe speaker after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat otherwise known as atrial fibrillation (AF), a condition that can lead to strokes,” Bob said.

“Determined not to become another statistic, I took steps to manage this condition and reassessed my own diet and lifestyle. I also decided to help others learn about what they could do to avoid stroke.

When a stroke strikes, it kills up to 1.9 million brain cells each minute, but prompt medical treatment can stop this damage.

New South Wales is home to 12 of the country’s top 20 hotspots for stroke incidence, and 10 of those are located in rural or regional areas.

Regional Australians are also 19 per cent more likely to have a stroke than their city counterparts.

Bob said stroke was always a medical emergency, which needed time-critical treatment.

“Not enough of us know the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke, but if that knowledge can be spread, lives can be saved,” Bob said.

The F.A.S.T. test involves three 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 Foundation New South Wales State Manager Rhian Paton-Kelly said stroke can happen to anyone at any age and any time.

“We must do all we can to curb the increasing rate of stroke and its subsequent flow-on effect to families and the health system,” Ms Paton-Kelly said.

“I thank StrokeSafe Ambassadors like Bob Carnaby for their commitment to raising stroke awareness in their community and urge others to join our mission to prevent, treat and beat stroke.

“By sharing the F.A.S.T. message, you could help save a life.”

A record number of StrokeSafe presentations were delivered last year. Vital messages reached almost 20,000 people across Australia.

If you are a good communicator, have a willingness to learn and a passion to help prevent stroke, you could be Stroke Foundation’s next StrokeSafe speaker.

Apply here to become a StrokeSafe speaker in: Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lismore, Orange, Port Macquarie and Shoalhaven.

Bob smiling at the camera and pointing to a FAST poster

About F.A.S.T. Community Education and the NSW Telestroke Service

Stroke Foundation is proud to partner with NSW Health to deliver F.A.S.T Community Education in support of the NSW Telestroke Service.

The first step in ensuring better outcomes from stroke is recognising the F.A.S.T. (Face. Arms. Speech. Time) signs and calling triple zero (000). Stroke is always a medical emergency.

The $21.7 million Telestroke service uses telehealth technology to connect a specialist stroke physician with patients and clinicians in regional hospitals, speeding up stroke diagnosis and treatment. The service is a joint initiative between the State and Federal Governments and will roll out to up to 23 sites across NSW over the next three years.

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