WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Thursday is World Stroke Day.
Debby Schrecengast, a three-time stroke survivor, is hoping to help others identify the warnings.
“As a stroke survivor, I ignored it. I knew what my health was like and I didn’t make any changes to fix it. What people need to do is know their numbers and act on those numbers. Know your blood pressure, know your weight, what your cholesterol is, and if it’s high, you need to do something about it,” she said.
Debby says when she had her first stroke, she was only feeling dizzy until she went to the hospital. Then she experienced classic stroke symptoms while in the emergency room.
“If you feel off, you need to go. FAST, that’s the acronym you have to remember. F is for face drooping, A is for Arm weakness, definitely (S) slurred speech, and the T is Time. That’s the time you need to call 911. A matter of minutes can make a difference,” she said.
Debby says a stroke can happen to anyone at any time.
“I lost 40 pounds, I worked out every day, I ran a half marathon, and I still had a stroke on top of that. Sometimes you can’t predict it,” she said.
Debby works at Marra’s Homecare, selling equipment to help people who have suffered a debilitating medical emergency.
“My goal now is to not need any of the stuff we sell,” she said.
And to educate others so they can help someone who is having a stroke.
“My last stroke, I actually had here at work and it was amazing; everyone jumped to my rescue,” she said.
For more information about preventing and identifying a stroke, visit the American Heart Association website.