Marrickville woman Jamie Fitzcarlos, 34, has paid tribute to her "hero" husband for saving her life by recognising the F.A.S.T signs of stroke as part of National Stroke Week (September 2-8).
Jamie was working from home in June 2017 when she lost the ability to speak and collapsed during a conference call. Jamie's husband Steve happened to be home on the day and found Jamie on the ground, unable to get up.
Steve instantly knew something was wrong when he saw Jamie's slight facial droop and struggle to speak. Even though Jamie was young and healthy, he feared she was having a stroke.
Steve dialled triple zero (000) and an ambulance took Jamie to hospital where she was treated with a drug to dissolve the blood clot in her brain.
Jamie said Steve will now and forever be her hero for his quick action.
"After a stroke, your brain cells start dying. I know my outcome could have been far worse if I didn't get to hospital when I did. Steve's quick thinking is ultimately what saved my life. He is truly my F.A.S.T hero."
Using the F.A.S.T test involves asking these simple questions:
Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
Arms Can they lift both arms?
Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
Time is critical. If you see any of these signs call triple zero (000) straight away
Stroke is one of Australia's biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. It occurs when blood supply to the brain is disrupted, either by a blocked blood vessel or a leaking blood vessel. Treatments can stop this damage, but they must be delivered quickly.
Stroke Foundation New South Wales State Manager Rhian Paton-Kelly said when stroke strikes people from all walks of life can come to the rescue.
"The more people who know the F.A.S.T signs of stroke message and to call an ambulance at the first sign, the better," Ms Paton Kelly said.
"Please share this important message with your friends, family and colleagues this National Stroke Week."
National Stroke Week is the Stroke Foundation's annual stroke awareness campaign. Thousands of activities will be held right around the country, including information stalls, morning teas, talks from stroke survivors, health checks, personal or team challenges and fundraising events.
Today, Jamie is back at work, and while she has battled fatigue, she does not have any physical side effects from her stroke.
"I am an example that stroke can happen to anybody at any age, but I am also proof you can recover and live well if you have the right treatment at the right time."
More on National Stroke Week here.