The warning signs are clear -- so there's no reason stroke should sneak up on so many people.
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When Claire's uncle first regained consciousness after a stroke, the first thing he tried to say as a joke was "How was I supposed to know?"
Needless to say, none of his family found the sight of him in the hospital very amusing, no matter how he tried to lighten the mood. Maybe he would have known if more of us spoke out about stroke prevention. In fact, the warning signs of stroke should be common knowledge-- so how can we make that happen?
Over 17 million people worldwide live with the irregular heartbeat that signifies Atrial Fibrillation (AF). When people -- especially over the age of 55, when stroke is most likely to occur -- stop seeing their doctor on a regular basis, they may never even realize they have AF. All it takes is a nudge from a loved one to make a doctor's appointment to be aware of AF's risks.
AF is a controllable risk factor that we can keep an eye out for in ourselves and our loved ones. It's well worth investing a few minutes to learn about stroke and avoid those "how could I have known?" problems in the future.
Reading the Global Atrial Fibrillation Patient Charter is a great first step -- or a helpful resource to pass along to friends and family. Sign the charter and help lessen the knowledge gap about stroke prevention!
Thank you for taking action, you could save a life.