Scunthorpe stroke victim says it came completely out of the blue but within seconds had changed his life
A stroke victim has spoken of his experience and how important it is to raise awareness, after new data showed the number of people at risk of a stroke in the region.
New findings show that thousands of people in the Yorkshire and Humber are at risk of a stroke because they fail to recognise the signs of a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA), which is also known as a mini-stroke.
A TIA is a stroke-like event which is caused by a temporary lack of blood flow to the brain.
Like a major stroke, symptoms include part of the face falling, slurred speech and an inability to raise both arms, but the symptoms are only temporary.
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Sean Ward is someone who knows first-hand what it is like to experience both a stroke and a TIA.
The 53-year-old, from Scunthorpe, suffered a stroke in 2011 when he was on his motorbike which has affected his sight and his left hand.
Mr Ward said: "I was out on a Lincolnshire Bike Night with about a dozen riders.
"My eyes went blurry on the road, like a veil coming over my eyes.
"At that point I had to pull over and the bike fell on me.
"It was within seconds that the stroke hit me.
"It comes completely out of the blue."
Mr Ward also suffered a TIA six months after his initial stroke.
He said: "I lost my eyesight and I collapsed. That lasted for a good one or two hours."
Mr Ward said he has not fully recovered from the stroke.
He said: "I did a bit of physio- therapy, but I have not really recovered.
"I still have pains in my left hand side and my right eye keeps going blurred.
"I cannot ride my motorbike any more, but I can drive. That is my lifeline."
Mr Ward shared his experience after a Stroke Association survey of people in Yorkshire and Humber revealed that:
Almost two-thirds of people did not recognise the symptoms of a TIA, with one fifth believing they were symptoms of a heart attack.
Nearly nine out of 10 people would be worried if they experienced the symptoms of a mini-stroke, yet almost three-quarters would not take emergency action and go to hospital.
Two-thirds of respondents had never heard of TIA and just under half were unaware that a TIA was a warning sign of a major stroke.
The Stroke Association for Yorkshire and the Humber holds a stroke fair every two months which provides information.
The next one will be taking place on Wednesday, November 14 from 1pm to 3pm at the Robert Holme Hall Hospital Sports and Social Club on Church Lane, Scunthorpe.