Strike out stroke
Tuesday, 14th September, 2010
A stroke can affect anyone at any age, and several BH Stroke Support Group members hope to shed light on Australia's leading cause of disability.
This week is the National Stroke Foundation's Stroke Awareness Week, and BH Stroke Support Group president Carol Kelland hopes to raise awareness for the cause.
Group member Bev Starkey has witnessed the devastating effects of a stroke first hand, suffering TIA's (transient ischemic attacks) before her major stroke at age 58, 16 years ago.
A TIA is known as a mini-stroke, which can last up to 24 hours before disappearing, and can be followed by a major stroke.
"There's no such thing as a little stroke, they are warnings of a major stroke," Mrs Starkey said.
"No stroke is the same, it affects people in different ways.
"If I had know they were the warning signs, I would have had tests and it wouldn't have happened."
Mrs Starkey plays indoor bowls to keep herself active and says while people may not be able to see physical signs of her stroke, she still had a slight problem with balance.
"There is life after a stroke," she said.
Both Mrs Kelland and group member Josie Hill care for their husbands who have both suffered strokes, and say knowing the symptoms is important.
Symptoms of stroke are numbness, trouble with speech, dizziness and difficulty swallowing.
The ladies will be at the Plaza on Wednesday from 9am selling badges to raise money for local stroke support services.
Ms Hill said the badges represent the brain waves which appear during a stroke.
They also welcomed anyone who was living with someone affected by a stroke to their meetings at 10.30am at the BH Community Inc on the last Friday of every month.