Act FAST and help save a life

October 29, 2014
This World Stroke Day the National Stroke Foundation is urging workplaces and individuals to act FAST to identify the signs of stroke.

FAST is an easy to remember, simple way to recognise if someone may be having a stroke: Face – has the person’s mouth drooped? Arms – can they lift both arms above their head? Speech – is their speech slurred? Can they understand you? And Time – call triple zero (000) immediately, do not delay.

Standard Solar is among the workplaces  supporting  the National Stroke Foundation’s FAST campaign through the First Hour initiative. The company is encouraging and supporting its workforce to donate one hour of pay to the National Stroke Foundation in support of FAST in addition to providing stroke education.

Standard Solar Managing Director Rob Grainger said the company is supporting First Hour and FAST initiatives as the team knows first-hand the impact of stroke and the value of time in its treatment.

“I am alive today because my mum recognised the signs of stroke and many of our team have also seen the impacts of stroke within their families,’’ Mr Grainger said.

Mr Grainger was just 41 when he was struck down by a massive stroke. It was a Sunday night and Mr Grainger was alone at home and speaking to his mother interstate on the phone.  While  talking,  Mr  Grainger’s  mum  noticed  his  speech  started  to  slur  and  Mr Grainger began feeling weakness in his arms.

“I was talking to my mum [while experiencing symptoms] and over the phone she knew what was happening, she said ‘I think you are having a stroke, you had better get to the hospital.”

On hanging up the phone Mr Grainger’s mother immediately called an ambulance, sending it to Mr Grainger’s home and saving his life. Doctors said, without his mother’s quick action treatment would have been delayed and Mr Grainger may have died or been left with a serious disability. Following the stroke Mr Grainger spent four months in hospital learning to walk and talk again; today a minor limp and his rapid speech are the only indications of his stroke.

“You think stroke is an older person’s problem and not something to worry about, you don’t think that at 41 you will have a stroke. But it can happen to anyone, you don’t know why or who,’’ he said.

National Stroke Foundation National Director Programs Rebecca Naylor said time was critical in treating stroke.

“Time is a vital weapon against stroke. Every minute counts. The sooner the person having a stroke gets help and critical treatment, the better the chance of survival and quality of life,’’ Ms Naylor said.

“One in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime and 30 per cent of stroke survivors are of working age, yet most Australians still don’t really understand what a stroke is or what to do about it.”

The National Stroke Foundation is urging work places across the country to get behind First  Hour  and  the  FAST  initiatives  by  supporting  a  donation  by  their  workforce  and providing education on the signs of stroke.

“We are asking for people to donate one hours, just one hours pay, this doesn’t seem like much but collectively it makes a huge difference,’’ Ms Naylor said.

“If we can educate more people on the signs of stroke and what to do when they see a stroke happening, we can help save lives and slash disability.”