Learning the Facts about Stroke Can Save Your Life

May is always a busy month in my family: three birthdays, Mother’s Day, graduation time and usually some travel. But May is also Stroke Awareness month, something that resonates with me because I was one of those people who thought it couldn’t happen to me. Take the time this May to learn a few things that could save your life or the life of someone you love.

The facts: Stroke is all too common; stroke is shockingly brutal; stroke is not a geriatric disease. It can happen to you or someone you love. I know. It happened to me in 2002, when I was 48 years old. Learn the facts and share them with those you love.

First: Stroke is common

• Each year in the US almost 800,000 people fall victim to stroke, about one every 40 seconds; 150,000 Americans die–one every for minutes.

If you’re a slow reader (as I am since my stroke), by the time you finish this post, four people will have their lives turned over to stroke. One will have died.

Second: Stroke is brutal

• Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the US and the third leading cause of death
• Six million people in the US are living with the after-effects of stroke. Half of them are so disabled they require special care. Seventy percent are unable to return to their former jobs. That seventy percent includes me.

Third: Stroke is not a geriatric affliction

• Each year, Stroke hits more than 200,000 Americans under 65. Almost half of them are under 50. I was one of those.

Fourth: Stroke can be prevented

• Studies show that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by working with a healthcare professional to reduce personal risk

Coming next: Know the signs of the stroke