What to do if you suspect a stroke

Hi all,

As we approach World Stroke Day on 29th October, our ongoing effort to spread awareness and provide valuable information takes centre stage as we highlight the importance of recognising and responding to a suspected stroke.

Raising awareness and understanding the signs of a stroke can make a significant difference in the outcome for someone experiencing one.

:eyes: Recognising the signs

:pushpin: The first step in responding to a suspected stroke is understanding the common symptoms. The Stroke Association’s webpage on the symptoms of a stroke is an excellent resource for this purpose. You can find detailed information on the signs of stroke by visiting this link.

:pushpin: It covers everything from facial weakness and arm numbness to slurred speech and sudden vision problems. We strongly recommend familiarizing yourself with these symptoms, as it could save a life.

:alarm_clock: Acting quickly - The FAST test

In case you witness someone experiencing the symptoms of a stroke, it’s essential to act quickly.

:pushpin: Acting FAST will give the person having a stroke the best chance of survival and recovery. Always call 999 straight away.

:pushpin: Ambulance paramedics are trained in stroke, and will ensure the person receives emergency medical care and specialist treatment.

A helpful way to remember what to do is the “FAST” test:

Feel free to download, share, and distribute this infographic on your social media channels, within your communities, and among your friends and family. Spreading this knowledge can help save lives.

:memo: Additional stroke symptoms

The FAST test helps you spot the three most common signs of a stroke, but it’s important to know about other symptoms that should be taken seriously. These include:

:small_orange_diamond: Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including legs, hands, or feet.
:small_orange_diamond: Difficulty finding words or speaking clearly.
:small_orange_diamond: Sudden blurry vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes.
:small_orange_diamond: Sudden memory loss, feeling confused, or experiencing dizziness or a sudden fall.
:small_orange_diamond: A sudden and very severe headache.

The more people are aware of the signs and actions to take when they suspect a stroke, the better equipped we are to prevent severe consequences.

If you have any personal experiences or anything else you’d like to share, please feel free to add to this discussion, we’d love to hear from you! :speech_balloon:

Stay informed, stay vigilant, and let’s continue to support one another in our journey to raise stroke awareness, especially as we approach World Stroke Day. :purple_heart:


Thanks @CommunityAdmin

Very important.

As a personal experience:

I had a TIA then some ischemic strokes then a hemorrhagic stroke. I have lost 50% of my vision.

But I recognised that I was having a stroke event due to seeing FAST adverts and that probably saved my life.

I lost total feeling in my left side and could not get myself up level sitting on the sofa with my right arm and I’m quite strong I tried and then shouted to JP… He immediately called 999. But I didn’t have any slurred speech or much face stuff so it’s not ALL FAST it could be just one of those and the others listed above!!

Cheers @CommunityAdmin

@j.p.mac was amazing - recognised FAST symptoms too and so did my neighbours and I got to the hospital in a reasonable amount of time!! They acted fast (pun intended) and I am still alive and walking a bit and talking far far too much!


Please also note this all you lovely people.

K :wink: :polar_bear:


Thanks @CommunityAdmin i have put together something to share on my facebook page on World Stroke Day. I will include some of the above too.

I was one of the people that didn’t experience the FAST symptoms therefore didn’t seek medical attention for 4 days :confused: My stroke presented with dizziness & nausea, then vision and balance issues followed. The left sided weakness was the last thing to happen on day 4.

Stroke never crossed mind (I was in my 40s at the time) until my GP said I don’t want you to panic but I think you’ve had a stroke. Hmmmmm…not panic hey :grin:

From my perspective it’s equally important to be aware of the lesser known symptoms too.


Great to hear you’ll be sharing something too on World Stroke Day @mrs5k :clap:t4: :slight_smile:

Reading about your experience really drives home the importance of recognising those lesser-known stroke symptoms. From dizziness and nausea to vision and balance issues, it shows how strokes can be pretty sneaky. It’s a strong reminder that they don’t always follow the typical FAST symptoms we hear about. You’re absolutely right about spreading the word on these lesser-known symptoms.


Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us, @KGB. Strokes can be complex, as your journey from TIA to ischemic and haemorrhagic stroke demonstrates. Your awareness of the FAST test likely played a crucial role in saving your life.

Even without the typical symptoms like slurred speech or significant facial issues, your quick response, along with the heroics of your housemate and your neighbours, ensured you received the help you needed promptly.

Your experience underscores that stroke symptoms can vary widely. Being aware of a broader range of symptoms is invaluable. Great to see the (original post) OP has resonated with you and you’re also keen on sharing the message and raising awareness on World Stroke Day! :slight_smile:


World Stroke day, 29-30th October, 2023

On the day of my stroke,

I only thought, this is strange. My computer mouse wasn’t behaving itself, must be a software error, thought I. My foot went a bit wonky but I could still walk. My wife didn’t know what it was either, but insisted on phoning for an ambulance, which took me off to hospital for what turned out to be a two month stay.

I ended up coming home virtually paralysed down my right side.

Previous to this, a month or two before, I had fallen over flat on my face then got up feeling okay, thinking I had tripped, but not knowing why. This happened a number of times.

Later, after a full blown stroke and a scan, I was told I had had a few TIA events, I guess the falls must have been the beginning though I hadn’t realised it. Incidentally there were none of the classic symptoms, though the ambulance men, that my wife had called, after a swift examination did take me away.

My apologies for this late contribution, I have been fixing an errant computer, fingers crossed it is the computer and not me . . .

My best wishes to all those affected

Keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smiley: :+1:

1 Like

@Bobbi it certainly sounds like your falls were probably TIAs but how many of us would have thought we were just being clumsy or needed to slow down. :thinking::thinking:

Hope your errant computer is now behaving itself :grin:

Best wishes

Ann x



I don’t think I’ll ever learn how to behave myself, but after a couple of days, what would have at one time taken maybe a couple of hours, appears to be okay now, at long last.
Thanks for your concern.


Hi I had a headache at the back of my eye for 3 days , day 4 I woke up with vision problems, the doctors told. Me it was a migraine. I wish I had known about vision problems could be a sign of stroke to as I had no weakness in my arms or legs. Sending best wishes to all stroke survivors and carers on the road to recovery x


I thought mine might have been a migraine. When I said that to the dr he said do you normally get migraines. When I said no he said it doesn’t sound like a migraine to me. I’m grateful he spotted i’d had a stroke.

Thinking back a few weeks before my stroke I too had a pain behind my eye for a few days. It went away so I thought nothing more of it. I’ll not ignore it if it happens again.

Best wishes

Ann xx


Yes I had torn my cartroid artary in my neck so I had a very slight ache there but not enough for me to do anything, all day the Dr said to get some migraine tablets, but I had never had a migraine or didn’t get headaches it’s sad as it was left for a long time and the artary had to remained blocked. I try to stay positive. The forum has really helped to connect with people post stroke I’m grateful for that x


@Elle1 i had torn my carotid artery too. Sounds like we had very similar experiences.

I’ve found this forum has really helped me through my stroke recovery & despite my apprehension when I first joined I’m very glad I did.

Best wishes to you.

Ann xx


You too :laughing: It pays to be cautious on the internet at the best of times, but when you’ve a stroke brain and clicky fingers on your mouse it gets so much trickier :smile:


I’d never been on a forum before & I had no idea what to expect. My stroke brain was playing tricks with me but I eventually felt brave & went for it. Now you’re all stuck with me :rofl::rofl:


@Mrs5K I know this is off topic, but I have to say something.

Your commentary and input in general is very much appreciated.
It is as valuable as are you as a person.

It worries me that you are carrying a burden that should be shared. I hope it won’t continue to fall on you alone and I hope something can be done to improve this situation.

All I can do is thank you for your hard work and devotion to the forum.

My ‘rant’ is over. I hope this thread can be valuable to all those affected by stroke.

. . . and ring 999 for immediate help if you suspect stroke.

Keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smiley: :+1:


@Bobbi thank you for your kind words. :grin:



They are only words, Ann, but I believe you deserve some recognition.



I’m a little late to this thread, but heres how it happened for me.
I woke early, about 4am on June 1st. Quite normal for me, so I reached for my phone and lying there I began typing some answers to messages. After that I looked at a few sites, Facebook and weather for the day etc then put my phone down and closed my eyes to try and sleep some more. It was probably about 7.30am when I decided to get up and make some tea. I turned over in bed but it felt strange, like I had to try hard to turn over. I tried to sit up but I couldn’t. I tried to put my left arm behind me to push but it wouldn’t move. I sort of rocked until I sat up and managed to lift my legs out of bed but then found I couldn’t stand up. I sat on the edge of the bed and again rocked back and forth then tried to propel myself onto my legs but I just crashed into the wall opposite and fell in a heap on the floor. I knew by now that something bad had happened to me and I pulled myself a little way across the floor and onto a chair using my right arm…My wife was in the bathroom so I called out to her that I needed an ambulance and I thought I’d had a stroke. Then it was “are you sure?” etc and I said PLEASE CALL 999. I heard her telling the responder who began her own little phone triage. Then followed a bizarre interlude where the woman would’t send an ambulance unless I repeated a sentence into my wfe’s phone so she could actually hear my slurred speech… She then warned us we couldn’t cancel the ambulance once she’d sent it. Like I might somehow change my mind … crazy.
The ambulance crew were wonderful and didn’t even bother running tests, they said it was very obvious what had happened and called the stroke team ahead to expect me.
Incidentally, the doctors used my mobile phone WhatsApp to time my stroke saying they could see when it happened by looking at how my messages, my sentences and typing changed.


@Strings thank you for sharing. It must have been scary at the time.

I didn’t know I’d had a stroke at the time but I typed a message to my boss to say I was feeling rough & wouldn’t be in work but when I looked at it it was a completely random set of letters that I had typed.

Never thoughtvof using that as a way to work out the start of my stroke though.

Best wishes



Like you, Ann, @Mrs5K, I just didn’t feel right. I called my boss to say I wouldn’t be in, had a headache. She said, Do you realize you don’t work today? Do you know you no call, no showed yesterday? I think you should see a doctor, I don’t think it is just a headache. (I had been asleep on the couch since Sunday afternoon, this was Tuesday morning).

I don’t know if I had idea headache. I just didn’t feel right. I wasted time trying to find a doctor who would see me without insurance, then finally gave up and called the ER to find out what I needed to know about Covid rules before telling them I would drive myself, or try to find a ride. She told me to call 911 if I needed an ambulance. I told her I didn’t know how. She sent and ambulance.

Nothing made me think stroke. Heart attack came to mind, but mostly I was afraid I was just taking a chance on losing my home over nothing being wrong. Glad she sent the ambulance. I wouldn’t even have tried to call.