Did you know that in the time that it takes to check your mail, someone will have a stroke?
Every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers from a stroke and every four minutes someone dies from one. But what a lot of people don’t know is that 80 percent of strokes are preventable.
That is why the American Heart Association (AHA) and their Tampa Bay Together to End Stroke supporter, Frontier Communications, are working together this American Stroke Month – and throughout the year – to increase awareness about stroke.
The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative encourages individuals to learn the acronym F.A.S.T., which indicates the warning signs of stroke. F.A.S.T. stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty and Time to call 911.
Unfortunately, only nine percent of Americans can identify the meaning of the acronym F.A.S.T. That is why the AHA and Frontier continue to bring this message to companies and individuals throughout Tampa Bay with a traveling tour. Through the F.A.S.T. Tour, the two organizations have engaged more than 18,000 people face-to-face.
“I believe that the F.A.S.T. Tour has a ripple effect in our community,” said Melanie Williams, Senior Vice President of Frontier Communications. “When we talk to someone about the warning signs of stroke, we encourage them to share the lifesaving information with their friends, family and coworkers. By spreading the message that stroke is beatable, we can continue to save lives in our community.”
Residents in the Tampa Bay have also stepped forward to share their stories about how stroke has impacted their lives, including Yolande Petit-Homme, the mother of Frontier employee, Jen Petit-Homme.
In September of 2015, Yolande had a stroke. She was in the hospital for six days followed by nine days in rehabilitation where she worked on her motor skills and completing simple tasks like walking, brushing her teeth, and dressing herself. Yolande has always been an active and selfless individual, putting others needs before her own. Yolande’s focus is now on her own health. While she continues to make progress, many tasks are still difficult and she is grateful to have a strong caregiver in her husband. “My father has been her rock. He wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. to prepare her breakfast. He takes her to all doctors’ appointments and therapy sessions. He calls in and picks up her prescription refills. And he does all the grocery shopping.” said Jen Petit-Homme.
The AHA is thankful for Stroke Heroes like Yolande. By raising her voice and sharing her story, she is making difference in the community.
If you’ve had a stroke and want to connect with others who share similar experiences, visit the American Heart Association’s Support Network: www.heart.org/SupportNetwork.
To learn more about stroke and to share your story, visit www.heart.org/tampabayfast.
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