'FAST' is the word stroke awareness educator Tammy Henson wants you to remember. 'F' is for face. Ask the person to smile. " If they smile on both sides that's normal. If they smile on one side that's not normal, " said Henson to a group of ladies at Nacogdoches Head Start's Women's Day.
'A' is for action. Ask them to raise their arms. " If they can raise them out in front of them for ten seconds, that's normal. If one or both start to drop that's not normal."
'S' is for speech. Can they repeat a simple sentence. Henson said, " We've got a classic sentence, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. They may garble that. "
You worry about 'T', which stands for time if they can't do any of the three. The faster a stroke patient can get to the emergency room for a remarkable medicine, the more likely of not only survival, but recovery. EMS educator Vicky Atkinson said, " Our goal is that within 60 minutes they get that thrombolytic therapy, t-PA, that medicine that will reverse all the affects of the stroke. "
Una Faye Robinson is recovering from a stroke she had just weeks ago. She recalled, "I fell before I got up in the bed." Her cousin, Lillian Wyatt is now learning things she can do to prevent a reoccurring stroke for her cousin and how to protect herself from an incident. " I just see a lot of people having strokes so I want to learn all I can. "
More women then men die of stroke. The more women who lower their risk factors which include smoking, obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure, the more women will live healthy lives for generations to come.