World stroke day: Swanley woman urges bystanders to save lives

PUBLISHED: 16:46 20 October 2014 | UPDATED: 16:46 20 October 2014

Will be talking to commuters about stroke in the foyer of Bromley South station

A Bromley South train dispatcher and stroke survivor, Teresa Lamkin, 51, of Swanley in Kent, is urging local passengers to be more aware of stroke symptoms and to act fast when faced with someone having a stroke.

To mark World Stroke Day on October 29, Teresa will be looking to save lives and raise awareness, by talking commuters about stroke in the foyer of Bromley South station.

Ms Lamkin, who had a mini stroke (also known as a TIA or transient ischaemic attack) in 2003, has been in the unfortunate situation of identify when two passengers were having a stroke.

She said: “I’m really passionate about spreading the word about stroke and helping to raise the awareness of it within the community. I know too well that a stroke can happen in an instant; when I had a mini stroke it was a wake up call for me to act fast and monitor my lifestyle.

“I want to let passengers know that stroke can happen to anyone, at any age. I think a lot of the time people are under the misconception that a stroke happens to someone who is old – and that’s not the case. I hope that by sharing information about stroke in the station on World Stroke Day, we can really make a difference and let people know what a stroke is, and how important it is to act fast.”

The stand will be at South Bromley station all day on World Stroke Day and passer-by’s are encouraged to learn more about stroke on their journey.

She said: “I hope that we can trains full of people reading the leaflets from the Stroke Association on the morning of World Stroke Day. I would like to see more people aware of the symptoms of stroke in case they are ever faced with a fellow passenger having a stroke. I’ve been in situations where people may have mistaken someone having a stroke as being drunk or being silly when this is not the case. We need to know the signs of a stroke and work together to get help save someone’s life, fast.”

World Stroke Day is observed annually on October 29.

Globally, more than 15 million people have a stroke each year, resulting in six million deaths. Since 2006, World Stroke Day has highlighted the worldwide rates of stroke, raised awareness of the steps that can be taken to prevent stroke and called for better support for stroke survivors and carers.

This year the Stroke Association will be raising awareness of the impact stroke can have on women, and to offer support to women whose lives have been turned upside down by stroke. We’re working with women across the UK who has experienced a stroke.

Kate Rogalska assistant manager from the Stroke Association in London said: “Every year there are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK. That’s one stroke every three and a half minutes. Most people affected are over 65, but anyone can have a stroke, including children and even babies. Stroke changes lives. It can have a huge effect on you and your family.

“A stroke is a brain attack which occurs because of a clot or a bleed in the brain, causing brain cells to die.

“Although it’s one of the UK’s biggest killers and leading causes of disability, far too many people don’t understand it or ever think it’ll happen to them. We rely on people like Teresa’s support to help change lives and to help us change how people think about stroke.”

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