Your greatest gift may be a life saving message

The Stroke Foundation is reminding Australians that the most meaningful Christmas gifts don’t need to come from a store.

Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan is urging everyone to share the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke message with their family and friends while they get together over the holiday period.

“The F.A.S.T message can be a life saver – especially at this busy time of year when many people don’t want to burden their loved ones if they are feeling unwell,” Ms McGowan said.

“It involves asking yourself these questions if you suspect a stroke:

Face- Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

Arms – Can they lift both their 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) immediately.”

Stroke happens without warning, interrupting blood flow to the brain and killing almost two million brain cells a minute.

The impact can be devastating for an individual and their loved ones, but with the right treatment at the right time the damage can be stopped and people can recover. Stroke is always a time-critical medical emergency that requires a triple zero (000) call.

Ms McGowan said there is one stroke every nine minutes in Australia.

“Stroke doesn’t take a holiday, it can impact anyone at any time,” she said.

“When you get together with your family and friends this festive season, I urge you to discuss the vital F.A.S.T signs of stroke. You can even print a copy of the Stroke Foundation’s F.A.S.T. graphic from our website (www.strokefoundation.org.au) and pop it in a Christmas card or stick on the front of the fridge.

“This knowledge can save lives. The more people who know it, the better.”

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