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Acting “FAST” Helps With Stroke Recovery

By Evelina Burnett | Published 05 May 2014 07:47pm | comments

Close to 5,000 Mississippians will experience their first stroke this year, and doctors want you to act fast if you see - or if you yourself are - experiencing signs of a stroke.

Robin Rafferty remembers sitting in his car at an intersection on this busy stretch of Highway 90 near the Pass Christian harbor. It was February of last year, right after Mardi Gras.

Rafferty, who was 58 at the time, says it became clear something was really wrong when he sent out a document full of z’s in place of words.

Rafferty went to the doctor and was immediately hospitalized: he had had a stroke. He was in the hospital for several days. 14 months later, he's been through physical and occupational therapy, lost about 70 pounds and is working again. But he still feels the effects at times: difficulty typing, slower responses.

Doctors say your chances of recovering from a stroke depend a lot on how fast you get to the hospital because many of the best treatments are time-limited.

Rebecca Sugg is director of the University of Mississippi comprehensive stroke program.

FAST is a way to remember the warning signs of stroke: Face Drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty and Time to call 9-1-1. 

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