Looking ahead to another 25 years supporting stroke survivors in New South Wales

October 21, 2021
Stroke Foundation is marking a major milestone with a vow to continue fighting for the best treatment and care for people living with the impacts of stroke. 

This month marks Stroke Foundation’s 25-year anniversary. The not-for-profit is the only national organisation focused on stroke prevention, treatment, and recovery for all Australians. 

This is critical in Australia’s most populous state, where almost 9000 people experienced a stroke for the first time last year, and where 145,000 people are already living with the impact of stroke.  

Stroke Foundation’s State Manager for NSW, Rhian Paton-Kelly, says the organisation provides access to a range of services for people impacted by stroke.  

“It starts with knowing the F.A.S.T message as that knowledge saves lives. And to make sure as many Australians as possible learn what it means, we’ve provided that message in Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese, Hindi and Korean on our website.” 

Thinking F.A.S.T involves asking these 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 is critical. If you see any of these signs call triple zero (000) straight away 

Stroke Foundation has been proud to support new NSW Telestroke Service  and considers the initiative one of the most significant treatment advances of the past 25 years. 

The NSW and Commonwealth governments co-fund the $21m NSW Telestroke Service, which will provide virtual connections between specialist doctors and 23 rural and regional hospitals by June next year. 

Stroke Foundation promotes the F.A.S.T message in tandem with the new Telestroke service, which Ms Paton-Kelly says is a powerful combination.  

“When a stroke strikes, it kills up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute, but treatment can stop this damage. Time saved in accessing stroke treatment is brain saved. 

“Our next 25 years at Stroke Foundation will be focused on championing more avenues in prevention, treatment, and recovery to make the future brighter and help people with stroke live well.”