Green Bay (WFRV) Each year, almost 800,000 strokes occur in the United States.
Strokes often lead to serious, life-changing complications if help isn't sought immediately. Which is why you need to know the warning signs.
Jim Falkowski knows that first hand. He is doing great after suffering two strokes, but "I still do struggle, but it gets better," explains Jim Falkowski, stroke survivor.
When he had his first stroke he was confused-- he he didn't know he was having one. So he waited hours for his wife to come home.
"Cognitively I didn't understand things, words were weird, I was off," explained Jim.
Two months later, Jim's second stroke affected the use of his left side. "I could literally not use my left hand," said Jim.
Both times he went to Aurora BayCare Medical Center where he was treated quickly.
"It was impressive," Jim said about the treatment he received at the hospital.
Aurora BayCare has a stroke center with an alert team to ensure a rapid response.
"We try to have somebody there within minutes of the stroke," said Dr. James Napier, Neurologist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
Time means brain function. The worst thing you can do is nothing at the first sign of a stroke.
"You only have one chance and one opportunity to reverse the entire thing/ you only have that chance an hour, two hours for the best outcome. The longer you wait the harder it is and the less successful my interventions are when you do come in," said Dr. Napier.
So know the signs for Stroke, Remember the acronym 'FAST'.
Speech difficulty- understanding words.
Time---call 9-1-1- stroke victims have the best chance if they get help quickly.
if not "It can make you paralyzed. It can make you lose your memory. You can become blind, you can lose your ability to speak," said Dr. Napier.
Stroke can even cause death.
Which is why Jim wants others to know the warning signs. "To reach out to somebody and say to pay attention to this stuff. They need to act, people around them need to act. the outcomes are attainable," said Jim.
There are ways to prevent strokes, by controlling your blood pressure and sugar and exercise.
Aurora BayCare is sponsoring the Strike Out For Stroke night at the Green Bay Bullfrogs game on may 30th at Joannes Stadium.
There will be dozens of stroke survivors there to raise awareness and give out stress balls.
To learn more you can call Aurora BayCare at 866-938-0035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com