Stroke survivor’s urgent message on men’s health
Father-of-two Stewart Greig was on his way to say good morning to his children in November 2020 when he quickly realised something bad was happening to him.
“There was a weird pinging sound in my ear. I then sat on couch and realised I had no control of my shoulders and arms and then I couldn’t talk. It was like my mouth was glued shut.”
The then-forty-year-old was having a stroke in front of his kids, but Stewart recognised the F.A.S.T signs (Facial droop, inability to lift Arms, slurred Speech and Time is critical) and signalled to his wife to call an ambulance.
That urgent triple 000 call saved his life and now, in National Men’s Health Week, Stewart is urging other young men to put their health first and learn the risks and signs of stroke.
“Knowing the signs may save your life, just as it did mine.”
In Stewart’s case a blood clot in his leg travelled through a hole in his heart and to his brain. But his fast action meant life-saving emergency medical treatment came within the hour.
Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers. It kills more men than prostate cancer.
According to Stroke Foundation’s most recent awareness survey, fewer men than women can recall the most common signs of stroke. The survey also shows that fewer men than women realise high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol are key risk factors of stroke.
“Make health a priority and think of your family and how you want to be around and be stronger for longer,” Stewart says.
“Don’t rely on Doctor Google. Go to the actual doctor and ask the questions. Go regularly.”
Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan says regular check-ups should not be delayed.
“No matter how much of a big, tough Aussie bloke you are, stroke does not discriminate,” she says.
“The good news is that 80 per cent of strokes are preventable so you can make a difference. Seeing your GP regularly and checking for risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes is the best way to ensure they’re identified early and can be addressed before a stroke strikes.”