The couple was on a rare night out in Manchester attending a concert at Bridgewater Hall. It was when they were walking to get home that things started to take a turn for the worse.
Dawn, a retired nurse said: “The concert has finished, and we were walking to the bust stop. Keith started pulling me toward the right and told me he didn’t feel well. We stopped in a bus stop and he perched on the seat. Within seconds I could see that his speech was slurred, and his face started to droop on one side.
“As a retired nurse, I knew instantly what was happening and asked him to squeeze my hand, but his grip was weak. I immediately called 999 and spoke to someone in the control centre who immediately organised help for us. I was so grateful because I was not 100% sure where we were – we rarely go into Manchester and we were only there because I had been given theatre tickets for my birthday.
“The lady on the other end of the phone was calm and professional and I was so reassured by this and can’t thank her enough. I can’t describe the feeling of relief I felt seeing the crew.”
Paramedics Leyla and Danielle were on duty that evening and arrived to Keith and Dawn within minutes. They quickly assessed him and took him to Salford Royal Hospital on blue lights where he was handed over to the hospital’s stroke team.
Dawn continued: “Because of the prompt treatment my husband received, he was discharged home into my care shortly after. He has suffered only mild weakness following his stroke. I cannot explain the deep gratitude I feel to everyone involved, I will never forget Leyla and Danielle. Thank you.”
A stroke is a very serious illness that stops your brain working properly. It occurs when the brain tissue is starved of oxygen, usually caused by a blockage in an artery leading to the brain or in a blood vessel inside the brain.
Time is critical in the event of a stroke so it is vital that you know how to recognise one. The easiest way is to remember FAST:
- FACE – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
- ARMS – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
- SPEECH – is their speech slurred?
- TIME – call 999 if you see any single one of these signs of a stroke
If you’re on your own some of the most common symptoms to look out for are:
- Numbness or weakness down one side (ranging in severity from weakness in your hand to complete paralysis of the whole side of your body)
- Weakness in your face (which could make you drool saliva)
- Communication problems (difficulty talking and understanding what others are saying)
- Problems with balance and co-ordination
- Difficulty swallowing
- Severe headaches
- Loss of consciousness (in severe cases)
Call 999 if you notice these symptoms.