Stroke survivor urges people to act FAST

Bill Lorimer, 61, survived a stroke in 2016 and is now spreading the word about recognising FAST Test symptoms.
Bill Lorimer, 61, survived a stroke in 2016 and is now spreading the word about recognising FAST Test symptoms.

A Cloughmills stroke survivor is urging people to be more aware of the early warning signs of stroke and to act FAST

to help save more lives.

Bill Lorimer, 61, from Cloughmills survived a stroke in 2016 and is now spreading the word about recognising FAST Test symptoms.

The FAST Test identifies the three most common symptoms of a stroke and the right action to take:

FACE: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

ARM weakness: Can the person raise both arms?

SPEECH problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

TIME to call 999.

Bill said: “I was just making dinner - when I realised I was struggling to mash the potatoes with the masher. I tried to change hands but couldn’t. I initially just shrugged off this symptom and sat down to dinner but then I bit the inside of my face and couldn’t hold my fork. My wife and son noticed my face had drooped and they did the FAST test.

“Initially I wasn’t convinced and tried to insist I was ok but my wife called an ambulance and I was rushed to Antrim Area Hospital where the doctors were waiting for me. It was thanks to my family’s FAST action that I got to hospital quickly.”

Brenda Maguire, Campaigns Manager said: “Having a stroke is devastating. It can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time. Every second counts when you are having a stroke, so recognising the signs and calling 999 for an ambulance is crucial.

“We want more people across Northern Ireland to learn the FAST test and share it with their friends and family to help others to save lives.”