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Publication Date: 09/11/2009 

Hamilton man backs FAST 

Hamilton man backs FAST 

Raymond Fairhurst at his Hamilton home 

Raymond Fairhurst backs NHS Lanarkshire's FAST campaign 

A Hamilton man is urging everyone in the town to think FAST.

Raymond Fairhurst is backing an NHS Lanarkshire campaign – in partnership with Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland – which is promoting the key message that a stroke is a medical emergency and people should think FAST and call 999.

Over the course of November a FAST campaign leaflet informing the public on the signs of a stroke, will be delivered to every home and business in Lanarkshire.

Over 1000 people in Lanarkshire have a stroke every year and it is essential people recognise when it's happening and take prompt action.

Contrary to popular myth, a stroke is not something that only happens to older people with around a quarter occurring in the under 65s.

Raymond Fairhurst is a fit and healthy 35-year-old yet he suffered a stroke at the end of August.

The roofer said: "I was preparing to help lift a new settee delivered to my mother’s with my brother, when I began to feel really disorientated.

"I tried to say this to by brother and his girlfriend, but I just couldn’t say the words.

"I then stumbled and my brother’s girlfriend knew what was happening and called 999."

This quick thinking resulted in Raymond being rushed to Wishaw General Hospital and he has made a full recovery with no side effects.

 

Raymond continued: "I think a campaign like this is a great idea.

"People should be more aware of stroke and if it helps people get treatment quicker, then it has to be a good thing."

Calling 999 means people will reach hospital quickly and receive the early acute assessment and treatment, such as thrombolysis, which can prevent further damage to the brain.

Early referral can also be made to the Acute Stroke Unit which is known to reduce the chances of death and disability.

Stroke is the third biggest killer in Scotland after heart disease and cancer claiming the lives of one in eight women and one in 10 men.

It leaves thousands more with some form of permanent disability.

Campbell Chalmers, NHS Lanarkshire stroke nurse consultant, said: "There’s been a huge change in attitude to stroke in recent years with a growing understanding that it should be treated with the same sort of urgency as a heart attack.

"Rapid treatment can make a huge difference to the odds of surviving or being left with some form of long term disability."

For more information or a campaign pack contact the Stroke Managed Clinical Network on 01236 707724 or visit Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland at www.chss.org.uk