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How to recognize signs and symptoms of a stroke

Posted at 5:48 PM, May 23, 2024

BALTIMORE — Identifying a stroke is not always easily recognizable.

With May being Stroke Awareness Month, we want you to know what signs and symptoms to look out for.

10 years ago, Brian Cameron suffered a stroke. As a result, he developed aphasia.

Cameron says a decade ago, he remembers having symptoms on a Friday before going to the hospital and being diagnosed the following Sunday.

"It was devastating. My thoughts are clear but my mind, my speaking, my physical, I had a wheelchair for 6 months.," says Cameron.

After his stroke, he eventually found the Scale Aphasia Program at the League for People with Disabilities. A place that rehabilitates those who have suffered from a stroke.

Scale also has a Stroke Smart program. It teaches people how to recognize and treat a stroke.

They use the acronym "BEFAST" to recognize a stroke:

Balance: Loss of balance, dizziness

Eyes: Vision changes

Face: Facial drooping, severe headache

Arms: Weakness, numbness

Speech: Trouble speaking, confusion

Time: To call 911.

Lisa Thronburg, director of the Scale Aphasia Program, says if any of these happen to you or anyone you know, act fast.

"If you could help within one to three hours, there are certain medication's that can almost prevent disabilities, depending on the type of stroke," says Thronburg.

Scale offers the stroke survivors an opportunity to rebuild the confidence they may have lost.

"The main thing is to be patient. Often people with aphasia and other communication disorders just need a little more time to get out the words that they are saying," says Thronburg.

Scale has helped give people like Cameron positive reinforcement that things will be okay.

Cameron continues to rehabilitate his speech, and now he gives back to other stroke survivors becoming an outspoken voice for their stroke smart program.