Former Coronation Street actor Chris Fountain has spoken about his experience of having a stroke, which left him ‘speaking like a toddler’.
The soap star 35, dialled 111 after waking up on a day in August unable to articulate his speech and he was told that brain clotting had caused him to suffer Transient Ischaemic Attack, commonly referred to as a mini-stroke.
Now, he’s using his platform to raise awareness of the condition.
Strokes can affect anyone, old and young and the symptoms can vary from person to person but usually, they are very sudden.
As different parts of your brain control different parts of your body, your symptoms will depend on the part of your brain affected and the extent of the damage.
They occur when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. This means within a few minutes, brain cells begin to die.
Strokes aren’t always life threatening but the earlier you get help for someone who you think may be suffering one, the better it is for them.
Prompt treatment is crucial to minimize how much brain damage and further complication the person is left with.
Recognising a stroke
S – Ask the person to SMILE
T – Can they TALK? Ask if they can speak a simple sentence.
R – See if they can raise both arms
If they can’t do any one of these, call 999.
Not all sufferers share the same signs, according to the NHS, other symptoms include
- complete paralysis of one side of the body
- sudden loss or blurring of vision
- difficulty understanding what others are saying
- problems with balance and coordination
- difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- a sudden and very severe headache resulting in a blinding pain unlike anything experienced before
- loss of consciousness.
If you do experience these symptoms, it doesn’t always mean it’s a stroke. Symptoms of a stroke that disappear quickly and in less than 24 hours could be signs of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
TIAs are like mini-strokes and usually last a few minutes or hours before disappearing altogether. A TIA means there isn’t enough oxygen going to the brain. In its early stages, a TIA and a stroke look similar, so you should seek help either way.
A TIA is also a warning that you may suffer a stroke in the future.
More information can be found here.
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