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Share Your Story: Representative Chris Lee

by Grace H. on Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Representative Chris Lee, Hawaii

I was speaking at a community meeting when I began feeling dizzy and my eyesight became blurry. I thought I might be getting ill, so I excused myself and left the meeting. I got into my car and started to exit the parking lot, but I quickly realized that I was incapable of driving safely, so I pulled into the next driveway which happened to be a fire station. I tried to get out of my car and then collapsed. That’s the last thing I can remember. 

I know now that I should have recognized some of the stroke warning signs, but at my age, I was only 29 and in good health, having a stroke was the last thing I would have expected. In fact, the doctors at the hospital weren’t able to identify the cause of the stroke. I have none of the normal stroke risk factors. The lesson learned is that stroke can happen to anyone.

I encourage everyone to learn the simple acronym “F.A.S.T.”

F.A.S.T. stands for:

Face Drooping — Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

Arm Weakness — Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty — Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-1-1 — If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

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