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South West community urged to learn stroke signs

Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
Speech Pathologist Natasha Whelan and Mr Michael Hawksbee during their Telehealth session.
Camera IconSpeech Pathologist Natasha Whelan and Mr Michael Hawksbee during their Telehealth session.

South West residents have been urged to become the next generation of “F.A.S.T heroes” this National Stroke Week, with the Stroke Foundation encouraging the community to learn to recognise signs of a stroke — face, arms, speech and time.

Stroke Foundation WA State manager Jonine Collins said a stroke could happen to anyone at any time.

“When a stroke happens, brain cells start dying at a frightening rate of up to 1.9 million a minute, but medical treatments can stop this damage,” she said.

The faster you can be treated after a stroke, the more change you have of making a full recovery.

Jonine Collins

South West man Michael Hawksbee, 53, experienced a major stroke earlier this year — only a month after he graduated from university.

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Mr Hawksbee is said to be making “excellent progress” in his recovery and WA Country Health Service staff are working hard to help him reach his goal of returning to university next year.

“It’s a win for the Bunbury team to have acted so quickly in the narrow window to ensure Mr Hawksbee had the best chances of being treated,” WACHS South West regional director Kerry Winsor said.

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