The Stroke Association has launched a Wales wide campaign aimed at reducing the number of strokes across Wales.
Three specific risk factors put people at an increased risk of having a stroke. The 'Lower Your Risk of Stroke' campaign will get to grips with the number of strokes caused by high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (AF) and Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIA), also known as mini strokes or 'funny turns'.
Gareth Davies, 53, from Mountain Ash, had a stroke in 2003 when he was driving home from work. He lost his memory as he was driving, a journey he’d made for over 20 years, but managed to find his street. By the time he got to his front door he could no longer speak.
Gareth was in hospital for six months following his stroke during which time he also found out he had cancer. Initially Gareth couldn’t walk, speak or swallow and he had weakness on the right side of his body. His arm muscles were affected which meant his arm was tight against his chest and he lost the dexterity in his fingers.
As part of the integrated campaign, all Community Pharmacies will be offering a quiz to those aged over fifty to reinforce the importance of a blood pressure and pulse checks and to remind them of the FAST message. Those who are on medication for either high blood pressure or AF will also be given stroke awareness advice and told how important it is to have a medicines usage review on a regular basis.