It is estimated that there are more than 350 cases of stroke in Gosford City per year and, during Stroke Week, the Central Coast Local Health District is raising awareness of the impact that time has on a stroke.
Stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer, and is a leading cause of disability. District Neurologist and Stroke Staff Specialist, Dr Bill O’Brien, said that a speedy reaction not only infl uences the treatment path for a person having a stroke but also their recovery. “Most treatments for stroke are time sensitive, as around 1.9 million brain cells are lost per minute during a stroke’, he said. Erina woman, Ms Barbara Ardas, 69, suffered a massive stroke while out for a walk with her husband, Tony, in May. If not for the quick reaction of neighbours, Barbara’s stroke could have ended in tragedy. “I was just walking along and then all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe and got wobbly,” she said.
My husband asked if I was ok and the next minute I collapsed onto the footpath,” she said. Neighbours rushed to the aid of the pair, recognising that Barbara was having a stroke and immediately calling an ambulance to rush her to Gosford Hospital. At the time Barbara couldn’t speak properly or move her left arm and leg. A brain scan confi rmed a blocked vessel which doctors were able to treat with a clot busting drug. “I will be forever grateful that I was helped so quickly by the neighbours and then cared for so well by the doctors. “I could have been left with a serious disability if they had not responded the way they did. “I want to thank them for saving my life,” said Barbara. The scare prompted the pair to give up smoking and make other positive lifestyle changes. “After 65 years, I finally got Tony to stop smoking,” she said. Dr O’Brien said Barbara is a great example of how, with quick action, it is possible for stroke survivors to make a full recovery. “One in six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. “More of the brain can be saved if stroke is detected quickly, and treatment received immediately,” he said.
Media release, Sep 6, 2016 Casey Virgin, Central Coast Local Health District