Symptoms of stroke can come on with no prior warning. In 2013, Mrs Creed was in the bathroom when she fell as she was trying to stand. She managed to yell for her husband who called an ambulance. “I was completely paralysed on my right side and my speech was slurred,” she said.
Luckily for Mrs Creed, she received treatment quickly. When they discharged me four days later, I was already walking well. I was also able to talk again, but I had trouble adding and subtracting.” she added.
A year before the attack, she had suffered a transient ischaemic attack, a milder form of a stroke that usually preempts a full-blown attack. “At about 3am, I realised I could not see with my right eye. Although my vision recovered in a few hours, I went to see my ophthalmologist the next day and he referred me to a neurologist who started me on blood-thinning treatments to prevent a full-blown stroke,” she said.
Medications prescribed for strokes target risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes. In some patients, surgery may be able to re-open blocked vessels and prevent future strokes. Patients must also get started on rehabilitation as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the stroke, patients will be considered for programmes with varying intensities. Up to 55 per cent of patients with ischaemic strokes treated here go on to enjoy a full recovery.
As for Mrs Creed, her recovery is almost complete. She said: “I like to say that my right hand has a mind of its own, so I find it difficult to write sometimes. But apart from that I’m fine.”
Article continues on next page