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Mother of Three, Coach Awarded National Stroke Association July 2013 Faces of Stroke Spotlight

Faces of Stroke Ambassador

Centennial, CO The last thing Ruth Wolfe expected while talking to her husband on the phone from a grocery store parking lot was a stroke. But that’s exactly what happened. 

Ruth, 51, is a motivated wife and mother. Like many other women, she keeps busy with her job, family, coaching and running a youth sports league. But unexpectedly at the age of 49, her life was interrupted by a stroke.

National Stroke Association’s Faces of Stroke℠ campaign spotlighted Ruth’s story this month to raise awareness about the importance of knowing the warning signs of a stroke, particularly for women. 

“Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer every year,” said Jim Baranski, chief executive officer of National Stroke Association. “Ruth’s story highlights the importance for every woman to know the warning signs of stroke and educate their family members to act FAST and call 9-1-1.”

The sooner an individual gets emergency medical treatment, the better their odds are for survival and recovery. FAST is a memory aid to help recognize the symptoms of stroke. It stands for:

Face = Does one side of the face droop?

Arms = When both arms are raised, does one arm drift downward?

Speech = Is the person’s speech slurred or garbled?

Time = Call 9-1-1 immediately if any of these symptoms occur

Other stroke symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden vision loss; sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance; and sudden severe headache with no known cause. Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented through controlling various risk factors.

Ruth and her family acted FAST and she was able to get the necessary treatment. Her recovery began immediately after.  She began with learning the alphabet, reading books, printing and writing her name. She never gave up and pushed herself every day. After 11 months she has returned to work and her active lifestyle. 

About Faces of Stroke

Faces of Stroke is a web-based gallery with nearly 800 individual profiles of stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare providers sharing their stories and photos. Browse the many Faces and share your own story at www.stroke.org/faces.

About National Stroke Association

National Stroke Association is the only national organization in the U.S. that focuses 100 percent of its efforts on stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke. Visit www.stroke.org for more information.

 

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